February 9, 2012
To Our Valued Customers:
Trader Joe's and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) announced today that they have signed an agreement that formalizes the ways in which Trader Joe's will work with the CIW and Florida tomato growers to support the CIW's Fair Food Program.
The Fair Food Program is a groundbreaking approach to social responsibility in the US produce industry that combines the Fair Food Code of Conduct – a set of labor standards developed in a unique collaboration among farmworkers, tomato growers, and the food industry leaders who purchase Florida tomatoes – with a small price premium to help improve harvesters' wages. The goal of the Fair Food Program is to promote the development of a sustainable Florida tomato industry that advances both the human rights of farmworkers and the long-term interests of Florida tomato growers.
"We are truly happy today to welcome Trader Joe's aboard the Fair Food Program," said Gerardo Reyes of the CIW. "Trader Joe's is cherished by its customers for a number of reasons, but high on that list is the company's commitment to ethical purchasing practices. With this agreement, Trader Joe's reaffirms that commitment and sends a strong -- and timely -- message of support to the Florida growers who are choosing to do the right thing, investing in improved labor standards, despite the challenges of a difficult marketplace and tough economic times."
About Trader Joe's: With the opening of the Naples, Florida location, Trader Joe's operates 367 neighborhood grocery stores across the nation. More information at www.traderjoes.com.
About the CIW: The CIW (www.ciw-online.org) is a community-based farmworker organization headquartered in Immokalee, Florida, with over 4,000 members. The CIW seeks modern working conditions for farmworkers and promotes their fair treatment in accordance with national and international labor standards. Among its accomplishments, the CIW has aided in the prosecution by the Department of Justice of six slavery operations and the liberation of well over 1,000 workers. The CIW's Campaign for Fair Food has won unprecedented support for fundamental farm labor reforms from retail food industry leaders, with the goal of enlisting the market power of those companies to demand more humane labor standards from their Florida tomato suppliers.