Coming Soon: Student/Farmworker Alliance’s 2015 Annual Encuentro!

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CFF15-4_wScores of students, young people to gather in Immokalee, develop strategy for Publix, Wendy’s campaigns…

Each fall, the Campaign for Fair Food takes off with a burst of renewed energy thanks to an annual Immokalee tradition:  The Student/Farmworker Alliance Encuentro!  An action-packed weekend of strategizing and learning for students and youth from all over the country, the Encuentro this year is set for September 10-13.  Check out this year’s invitation, straight from the SFA itself:

On September 10-13, SFA is continuing the decade-long Encuentro tradition by bringing together brilliant SFAers – past, present and future – to lay down some solid groundwork for the upcoming year: finding new, creative ways to strengthen the SFA network and to continue fighting alongside farmworkers against corporations that believe they have no responsibility in ensuring human rights for farmworkers in their supply chain.

Here’s an inside scoop of what to expect at this year’s gathering:

  • Launching back-to-school escalation plans around the Wendy’s student boycott
  • Strategizing new ways to continue building the Publix campaign 
  • Building strength and solidarity across grassroots movements for justice
  • Sustaining the future of SFA’s organizing through skill-building workshops and other development tools… read more

Since the earliest days of the Campaign for Fair Food, students and young people have brought their creativity, energy, and passion to the table, whether by mobilizing to march hundreds of miles alongside Florida farmworkers or by inviting the CIW into their own classrooms and communities.  Now 15 years into the Campaign for Fair Food, farmworkers have won dignity, respect and fair wages in the fields through the Fair Food Program — truly incredible changes would never have been more than a dream without the dedication and unwavering support of generations of students and youth.  And now, as we break new ground with expansion of the Fair Food Program into new states and new crops this year, the student movement in support of farm labor justice has never been stronger.

Encuentro_2013_5237Indeed, with classes just around the corner, the CIW community center is buzzing with ideas for the coming year in the Campaign for Fair Food, starting with the Encuentro.  First up on the fall calendar: the “Schooling Wendy’s” National Week of Action, set for September 27 – October 4 — and it isn’t only for students, but rather for the whole of the Fair Food Nation!  So stay tuned for more details in the weeks to come, and stay in touch with SFA at organize (at) to find out what’s happening in your city.

To close, we couldn’t help but share the Encuentro promotional video, featuring some of Immokalee’s best acting talent:

U.S. State Department 2015 Anti-Slavery Heroes visit Immokalee!

  “TIP” Heroes share struggles to combat modern-day slavery across the globe with farmworkers in Immokalee, learn about Fair Food Program and worker-led efforts to defend fundamental human rights… Every year, thousands of engaged, dedicated individuals — people of all faiths, campus leaders, human rights activists, award-winning authors, and journalists — come through the small, dusty town of Immokalee to learn about the CIW and the Fair Food Program, as well as to share their own efforts for justice with CIW members.  Two weeks ago, however, we were fortunate enough to host some very special visitors whose contributions to the global human […]

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Tipping Point FINALE! #FairFoodNation takes the call for Fair Food to Twitter…

Using #MyPublixStory hashtag, consumers revisit six-year Publix campaign history, demand commitment to Fair Food…For the past week, we have been sharing highlights from the flood of letters, emails, and articles by consumers who can no longer countenance the empty excuses from Publix, Kroger, and Wendy’s for refusing to join the Fair Food Program.  Today, we bring you the grand finale of the “Tipping Point” series with a collectively-crafted, powerful message for Publix from consumer allies — on Twitter.First, a little background.  Recently, Publix launched a new campaign on social media dubbed #MyPublixStory, an effort to collect glowing consumer anecdotes about their favorite personal experiences at the Florida-based supermarket. […]

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Tipping Point, Vol. 7: Texas school teachers confront Kroger!

Letter delivery by local school teachers dismissed by Kroger managers…So far in this past week’s “Tipping Point” series, we’ve heard from consumers speaking out against the final fast food hold-out, Wendy’s, and the stubborn Florida grocer, Publix.  But what about the second largest food retailer in the country after Walmart, Ohio-based Kroger?  After Ahold USA became the first major U.S. grocer to join the Fair Food Program last month, inquiring minds began turning to Kroger, a company which, with over $100 billion in annual revenues, dwarfs Ahold and Publix and the rest of its supermarket competition.  Why would Kroger refuse to support U.S. agriculture’s leading human rights program […]

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Tipping Point, Vol. 6: Longtime Publix shopper calls for transparency, action from Florida grocer!

 “What I want to see from you is action — step up to the plate and join the Fair Food Program…”Today, as a part of our weeklong “Tipping Point” series, we want to share a letter to Publix from a Florida customer.This note from Palm Beach resident Stephen Bickel builds on a longstanding tradition of letter-writing in the Publix campaign.  From celebrated authors to church-goers to Immokalee farmworkers, many thousands of people have authored sincere, thoughtful messages to Publix over the past six years, in the hopes of receiving the same courtesy in return.  Alas, most of them are still waiting for a response.Today’s letter, which Mr. Bickel […]

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Tipping Point, Vol. 5: New Jersey puts Wendy’s in the hot seat after Ahold USA joins FFP!

“As Wendy’s modernizes its brand and its “Old Fashioned Burgers” marquees fall away, so too must this old fashioned way of doing business…”For much of our weeklong “Tipping Point” series, Publix has taken the brunt of consumer contempt for refusing to join the CIW’s Fair Food Program.  But Publix isn’t the only hold out on the receiving end of consumers’ growing ire.Wendy’s — which stands alone among the country’s five major fast food chains in not joining the Fair Food Program — has also been getting an earful.  As consumers in the northeastern U.S. look forward to seeing the Fair Food label on display in the produce aisles […]

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Tipping Point, Vol. 4: Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster lifts up Ahold USA agreement as “victory” for farmworkers, consumers!

“…When the wisdom and expertise of workers is honored at the head of the table, and consumers use public pressure to urge the institutions they patron to heed that expertise, it can result in justice…”Last week, we launched the weeklong “Tipping Point” series, sharing a daily sample of letters, emails, and articles from consumer allies who are celebrating two extraordinary advances of the Fair Food Program in just the past month: the Fair Food agreement with Ahold USA in July, and the inspiring segment on the FFP by CBS Sunday Morning earlier this month.  But rather than simply celebrate the recent advances, these consumers are making use of the moment […]

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Tipping Point, Vol. 3: Presbyterian Church USA calls on Publix and other companies to follow lead of Ahold USA!

  “My prayer is that Kroger, Wendy’s and Publix will also join and that there will come a day when we know that behind every tomato we buy stands a farmworker who is respected and fairly compensated…”We continue today with this week’s “Tipping Point” series, documenting the deluge of messages from consumers following last month’s groundbreaking agreement with Ahold USA and last weekend’s extraordinary report on the Fair Food Program by CBS Sunday Morning.Yesterday, we shared a letter from one of the Fair Food Nation’s newest members, Emmy Award-winning TV producer Lisa Moody of Sarasota.  Ms. Moody expressed her disappointment at discovering that Publix — where she […]

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Long-time Publix customers joining a farmworkers for one of thousands of protests outside Publix (2013).

Tipping Point, Vol. 2: “I will now make better and more informed choices when shopping… and will take my business elsewhere.”

 Former producer of Publix video advertisements and longtime customer is “appalled” by grocer’s rejection of Fair Food Program, pledges support for farmworkers…Today, we bring you the second installment of our “Tipping Point” series.  The series will feature a daily letter, email or article penned by consumers who — in the wake the recent groundbreaking Fair Food agreement with Ahold USA and brilliant report from CBS Sunday Morning — can no longer abide the excuses and smoke screens thrown up by Publix, Wendy’s, and Kroger in justifying their rejection of the Program.One of the most striking themes in this flood of recent messages from consumers is that even longtime customers […]

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Tipping Point: Ahold signing, CBS Sunday Morning story pull rug out from under Publix, Kroger, Wendy’s in their fight to turn back Fair Food!

 Amidst ever-brighter spotlight on success of Fair Food Program, consumers increasingly fed up with retailers’ empty excuses…It has been a mighty fine fortnight for farmworkers.  Between last month’s groundbreaking Fair Food agreement with Ahold USA and this past weekend’s powerful, in-depth report from CBS Sunday Morning seen by millions of viewers across the nation, the future of the Fair Food Program has never looked brighter.  And if the public’s overwhelmingly positive response to the latest news — as seen on Twitter, on Facebook, and over email — is any indication, it is becoming increasingly clear that an ever-growing number of mainstream consumers stand with farmworkers, forward-thinking growers and responsible retailers in their collaborative […]

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CBS News Sunday Morning: “How the Fair Food Program is making a difference for struggling migrant farm workers…”

Following powerful CBS story, viewers take to social media to call out Publix for “unconscionable” refusal to join FFP…Yesterday morning, as they do every week, millions of viewers across the U.S. tuned into CBS News Sunday Morning, but this time they were in for a rare treat on network television: an excellent, in-depth report on the CIW’s Fair Food Program.  Brought to us by correspondent Mark Strassmann and producer Mark Hudspeth, the piece traced the hard-fought transformation of Florida’s fields from the “Harvest of Shame” days in 1960 to what is being called the best working environment in American agriculture in the New York Times today. The CBS Sunday Morning […]

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MUST WATCH VIDEO: CBS Sunday Morning, ​”The Growing Demand for Fair Food”…

This morning, CBS Sunday Morning aired an excellent, in-depth report on the Fair Food Program — in case you missed it at 9:00 AM, here above is the Fair Food segment in full!Check back tomorrow for more on the news program as well as highlights from the overwhelming positive responses on Facebook, Twitter, email and more… 

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THIS SUNDAY: CBS News Sunday Morning to feature Fair Food Program!

Peabody Award-winning morning news show to broadcast feature on Fair Food Program, agreement with Ahold USA!We’ve just received the exciting news that tomorrow, Sunday, August 9th, the Fair Food Program will be the featured “cover story” on the venerable CBS News show Sunday Morning, one of the country’s most-watched news programs with an audience of over 6.5 million viewers!  The show will air at 9 AM on the east coast.  Check here to find your local station and show times (west coast times may vary).Coming just a few weeks after last month’s groundbreaking Fair Food agreement with Ahold USA — the first major U.S. grocery chain to join the Fair […]

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Worker-to-worker education team wraps up first summer of Fair Food Program expansion in Virginia, New Jersey!

 Local tomato harvesters on the Fair Food Program:  “We’ve never seen anything like this in New Jersey…”Just two short months ago, the Fair Food Program’s worker-to-worker education team broke new ground outside the state of Florida with labor rights education sessions on participating farms in South Georgia.  We were there to bring you a report from those exciting first steps on the summer harvest road north for the Fair Food Program, and since those first days of the season the CIW education team has remained hard at work.  All in all, traversing five additional new states — South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey — […]

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Ahold agreement sparks major buzz in mainstream media, Twitter!

Take Part: “Buying ethical tomatoes just got a whole lot easier”…Wednesday’s big announcement of the CIW’s newest Fair Food agreement caused quite a stir in the media, mainstream and otherwise, as Ahold became the first mainline grocer to join the award-winning Fair Food Program.  From the Washington Post to Eva Longoria, everyone had something to say about the breakthrough agreement.  With a media round-up this big, we might as well just roll our sleeves up and dig into it, so away we go…First up, the Associated Press sent the story out to hundreds of papers and television stations across the […]

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BREAKING NEWS: “A Giant step forward for farmworkers!”… Ahold, parent company to Giant, Stop & Shop, and Peapod, joins Fair Food Program!

Ahold:  “The Fair Food Program is a time-tested leader in improving the lives of agricultural workers…”CIW:  Ahold’s “leadership will send an invaluable message to the rest of the grocery industry that social responsibility is greatly strengthened when workers, suppliers and retailers work together toward a more modern, more humane agricultural industry.”In a landmark development for the Fair Food Program, Ahold USA and the CIW announced today that Ahold has agreed to join the award-winning social responsibility program, bringing worker-certified Fair Food tomatoes to over 50 million new customers a month in nearly 780 new stores in 14 states.  Here below is an excerpt from […]

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