To establish ‘integrity,’ Chipotle Grill needs to stand against farmworker abuse
Chipotle Mexican Grill’s public image hinges on its claim to serving “Food With Integrity” — a campaign that has made it one of the most successful and lucrative chain restaurants in the United States. The “integrity” slogan implies not only high standards for ecological sustainability and animal welfare, but also a deep regard for social justice. You might think that such a company would be at the forefront of efforts to rid the U.S. food system of exploitative working conditions and outright slavery. Yet while Chipotle has instituted bold policies to promote animal welfare in its supply chain as well as to bolster sustainability, it has refused to throw its full weight behind the movement to end forced labor in our agricultural fields.
Following a season that saw the initial implementation of the Fair Food Program in fields across Florida, another hard-fought victory in the Campaign for Fair Food as Trader Joe’s became the 10th corporation overall to agree to work with the CIW, and the continuing escalation of the supermarket and Chipotle campaigns — all signifying a crucial turning point in our work — this year’s Encuentro is set to be the best yet!
…Will YOU be there?
This September 13-16, one of our most important traditions will continue as students and youth from across the SFA network converge in Immokalee, Florida — the birthplace of one of the most successful movements for dignity and justice that our generation has seen — for the annual SFA Encuentro: an in-depth weekend of relationship-building, training, strategizing and reflection.
The opportunity to meet face-to-face at this year’s Encuentro will be integral to our organizing as we map out how to take the campaign to new heights and how to make SFA a stronger and more sustainable organization as we continue our fight for a more just food system. So come on out, whether you’re an SFA “old-timer” or just beginning to get involved.
In addition to strategizing, making campaign plans, and sharpening our organizing skills, we hope to provide a space for discussion and reflection about the nature and significance of our work: What are the meanings of “solidarity” and “alliance” in the 21st century? What are our global and local contexts, and what does this mean for our campaigns, strategies, and tactics?
As always, we know the Encuentro will serve not only as an inspiration but as a springboard for action for social change throughout the next year and beyond!
A note on the application process: Due to limited resources and the logistical constraints of holding such a gathering in a place like Immokalee, we can only accept a limited number of participants. The application process ensures that those who attend the Encuentro are representative — in many senses of the word — of SFA and the campaign.
Don’t miss your chance to join us this September 13-16 in Immokalee- apply today! Final deadline is Wednesday, August 15th. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
2012 Encuentro background…
Reports from previous Encuentros & gatherings in Immokalee…
Farmworkers suffer from Chipotle’s lack of integrity
Chipotle Mexican Grill, which opens its first Erie location Tuesday, claims to promote “food with integrity” – but behind a clever marketing campaign lies an unsettling truth.
Top Ten Falsehoods, Fibs, and Fabrications in Chipotle’s Answer to a Customer’s Email about the Campaign for Fair Food…
Follow the entire series here
Fair Food Feedback: 65,000 people call on Chipotle to sign agreement with CIW now in massive email campaign! Comments offer some food for thought…
CIW members join Fair Food activists in New York City this past weekend for a lively protest outside a Chipotle restaurant in Manhattan. The protest was organized in conjunction with allies at ROC-New York.
The Top Ten List of Falsehoods, Fibs, and Fabrications in Chipotle’s Answer to a Customer’s Email about the Campaign for Fair Food is a wrap, but during its two-month run the fine folks at sumofus.org ran a companion email campaign through which Fair Food activists around the country could send Chipotle CEO Steve Ells a message demanding that the burrito king quit stalling on farm labor justice. The email text read:
“Mr. Ells - Please sign the Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers now, to ensure workers are paid and treated fairly for the tomatoes they pick for your salsa. Otherwise I won’t be able to believe your claim of serving ‘food with integrity’. Thank you.” see the e-action in its entirety here
65,000 people ended up sending emails to Mr. Ells, but not all were satisfied with sending the generic text. Scores of people added their own personal messages to Chipotle’s CEO, and they were, taken together, a powerful expression of consumer discontent with the food system’s indifference to unconscionable farm labor conditions at the bottom of their supply chains. We have compiled just a few of the messages to share with you here today, so sit back and enjoy as a chorus of consumers calls on Chipotle to stand behind its claim to “integrity” and stand with workers in Immokalee in building a more modern, more humane Florida tomato industry.
"'Cultivating Fear': Human Rights Watch releases withering report on the 'high risk of sexual violence', harassment faced by farmworkers in the U.S."
Human Rights Watch on the rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers, and others in positions of power [farmworkers face]. Most farmworkers interviewed said they had experienced such treatment or knew others who had. And most said they had not reported these or other workplace abuses, fearing reprisals. Those who had filed sexual harassment claims or reported sexual assault to the police had done so with the encouragement and assistance of survivor advocates or attorneys in the face of difficult challenges.