The Fair Food Nation has a long and storied history of creative mobilizations on the ground — two-hundred-mile marches, week-long fasts, rallies of thousands. But in the past few years, echoes of the ever-growing groundswell of support in the streets are being heard on social media networks, as well. Fair Food activists have taken to every corner of the internet to plant the flag for a more humane food industry that respects the rights of farmworkers whose backbreaking labor puts food on our tables. And as companies like Publix and Wendy’s themselves take their brands out of the sheltered shoals of paid advertising into the chaotic currents of the internet, they are finding — to their dismay — that they are not alone out there and that the message can get a bit messy at times.
After a particularly eventful week on the web, we wanted to take a moment to share some of the very latest Fair Food news from the social media world!
First up: Facebook. In the lead-up to Thanksgiving, Publix rolled out its iconic holiday messaging, filling the airwaves as it does every year with heartwarming family scenes centered around a holiday table stocked with Publix food. This year’s Publix holiday messaging also included the Facebook post on the right.
But while there’s no way to respond to a treacly Publix holiday commercial on TV, Facebook is a different medium, and what began as a carefully crafted monologue quickly turned into a free-for-all debate on Publix’s refusal to join the Fair Food Program and the meaning of real social responsibility. Anti-slavery activists from the Walk Free network posted over 4,700 comments and submitted hundreds of individual posts on Publix’s page throughout the day in support of the Fair Food Program, some of which can be seen here below:
More recently, as the CIW’s message of human rights for farmworkers resounded in the halls of the United Nations in Geneva and at the Trust Women Conference in London, it was echoed in real time on Twitter. In addition to the thousands in attendance at these gatherings, many thousands more were able to follow the CIW’s inspiring words through the cascade of tweets generated during the events. Here are just a few samples:
On that note, stay tuned for more online (and offline) actions in the Campaign for Fair Food, and a full report on the CIW’s travels through Europe to spread the word about the Fair Food Program!