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Lights, camera… Action! Protesters pour into the streets following “Food Chains” screenings in Miami, New York, Washington DC, and more cities…

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Over two hundred moviegoers hit the streets for a protest targeting Wendy’s following a Saturday afternoon showing of the new documentary “Food Chains” in New York. Wendy’s is the lone holdout among the fast-food giants to still refuse to join the CIW’s Fair Food Program. Similar protests took place in several cities, including Miami, Washington DC, and Orlando.

Meanwhile, reviewers continue to praise “Food Chains.”  Film Journal International writes, “this film should literally be seen by every American who unquestioningly lifts fork to mouth for their three squares a day.

The new documentary “Food Chains” has hit the ground running, and has been tallying an opening weekend to remember in the process! 

Michael Pollan, Barry Estabrook, Eric Schlosser, Marion Nestle, Amy Goodman, Ted Genoways, Greg Kaufmann, and Arthur Allen have all hosted standing-room-only panel discussions following showings in New York.  The film has garnered great reviews and feature stories from the New York Times,  the Washington Postand the San Francisco Chronicle (not to mention Inc , Film JournalMother Jones  and others!).  And as if that weren’t enough, there have been 12 major protests for farmworker rights around the nation, like this one in Miami pictured below, with more planned for Sunday:

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In Miami, over 200 farmworkers and student supporters joined forces for a colorful protest outside a nearby Publix after a Saturday afternoon screening of “Food Chains”.

It is fitting that a film that tells the story of successful consumer action in alliance with farmworkers should itself spark action, but the size and spirit of the protests have been truly surprising…

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In Washington, DC, moviegoers lined the streets outside a local Wendy’s in a powerful candlelight vigil.

… with young and old alike showing their support for Fair Food:

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Students from New Yorks Midtown Workman’s Circle lent their unique energy to the massive protest there.

Meanwhile, enthusiastic reviews continue to praise the film and its urgent call for farm labor justice at the base of our country’s food system.  Here’s an excerpt from Film Journal International’s review, entitled Film Review: Food Chains — Vitally important, infuriating exposé of the world of injustice behind the food you consume”:

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You may never look at a salad on your table the same way again after seeing Sanjay Rawal’s Food Chains, which entails the plight of farmers in this country (and others), who do the back-breaking labor few others want to do for the merest pittance…

… In recent years, Walmart, Taco Bell, Burger King, Chipotle, McDonald’s and Trader Joe have all finally woken up and come aboard the Fair Food Program, which exists to address farmworker injustices. But Publix, as the failed hunger strike demonstrates, still declines to even consider the pleas of those who pick its produce, shuffling the responsibility onto individual farm owners, as if its ultimate, all powerful say-so in this matter was meaningless. Rawal is to be heartily commended for the passionate insight and range he has lent to this ongoing human dilemma, and his film should literally be seen by every American who unquestioningly lifts fork to mouth for their three squares a day… read more 

And another, from the Sacramento Bee, that takes a look at the film through the prism of today’s broader food movement, entitled “Documentary a Grim Reminder of Realities of ‘Farm to Fork'”:

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Just in time for Thanksgiving comes a powerful film about the abundance of our agriculture and the gratitude we owe to farmworkers.

The documentary “Food Chains” opened nationwide in theaters and via iTunes on Friday, and will be released Thursday through video on demand. Its scenes are likely to make you pause and reflect the next time you shop the supermarket produce aisle…

… For all the talk of farm to fork, what we mostly celebrate are the fine-dining chefs and the small farmers who supply our local restaurants and markets. But food justice has to go beyond selling $27 pork chops in the name of supporting local eating. There wouldn’t be a farm-to-fork movement without the workers in the fields, who are mostly ignored by the general public and who often live below the poverty line and are subject to abuses…

… That’s to say “Food Chains” isn’t just one endless Debbie Downer scenario. The film focuses on South Florida’s Coalition of Immokalee Workers, which has achieved significant successes in the fight for fair wages and humane treatment for farmworkers. The CIW developed a Fair Food Program that incorporates a wage increase to two cents per pound – essentially doubling farmworker wages – and a code of conduct with zero tolerance for forced labor and sexual assault, among other provisions… read more 

The review concludes with a quote from the director, Sanjay Rawal:

“Ask a restaurant or grocer where the mushroom was grown, who raised the chicken and if the workers were treated fairly,” said Rawal. “The people on the other side won’t have all the answers yet. But the more they’re asked, the more the system will have to provide the answers. There won’t be change unless you ask for it.”

And that’s just what moviegoers in more than a dozen major cities across the country did this weekend after seeing the film, ask for — better yet, demand — Fair Food!

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For more pictures from all the action, check out the Food Chains Facebook page and the CIW’s twitter feed — and enjoy the full gallery below from New York City!  Then see the film yourself this week, if you haven’t seen it yet, and join the movement in the streets!

Sold out theaters, standing ovations, and strong reviews greet “Food Chains” national debut!

Review: “Food Chains’ Will Change the Way You Eat”… “That was the best food documentary I’ve seen yet, and I’ve seen them all!” Those were the words of one satisfied customer as she headed out of yesterday’s debut screening of the new documentary “Food Chains” at the Prado Stadium 12 Theater in Bonita Springs, Florida.  And she was not alone.  The Bonita showing was sold out, as were other showings in New York, Washington DC and in theaters across the country, where audiences not only showed their appreciation with standing ovations (a rare — and gratifying — occurrence in the context of […]

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“This is not a film about oppression, it’s actually a film about transformation”…

  MSNBC, Washington Post and many, many more national media weigh in on “Food Chains” and the movement for Fair Food! The day has finally arrived, and “Food Chains” hits theaters in major cities around the country today.  Ahead of its release, major media outlets have been turning their attention to the film and to the Fair Food movement that is its subject.   The MSNBC interview above is yet another great look at the CIW’s Fair Food Program through the eyes of “Food Chains” Executive Producer Eva Longoria.  Check out the excerpt above, and watch the full 7-minute interview […]

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Must See TV! Eva Longoria talks Fair Food Program, Florida tomatoes, and Food Chains with Stephen Colbert!

1.4 million viewers, millions more on Twitter, learn about the revolution taking place in Florida’s tomato fields as “Food Chains” readies for nationwide release! Tuesday was a good day for Fair Food.   With standing room only screenings of “Food Chains” taking place Tuesday in New York City, New Orleans, and Gainesville, Florida (where over 50 people were turned away at the box office, prompting arrangements for a second screening ASAP!), demand for the release of the new documentary is shooting through the roof.  Meanwhile, media coverage of “Food Chains’” imminent release continues to climb, with dozens of stories on the film — and […]

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Eva Longoria: “I think it’s important for us to get out the message about people who are doing it right.”

  “Let’s buy Florida tomatoes”…  FOOD CHAINS crew releases exclusive new video endorsement of the Fair Food Program and the Florida tomato industry by Executive Director Eva Longoria! With the national theatrical run of the exciting new documentary “Food Chains” just days away, Executive Producer Eva Longoria and the film crew have released an exclusive new video short (above) in which Ms. Longoria shares her thoughts on the Florida tomato industry, the food retailers who are supporting the Fair Food Program, and what consumers who care about farmworker justice can do to help expand and protect farmworkers’ rights. The new video should leave little […]

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Zing! #PublixPilgrims Twitter party crashed by Fair Food Nation…

Two can play the social media game, as dozens of allies join the conversation during Publix’s Thanksgiving Twitter chat, trade recipes for justice rather than turkey! Every year, as soon as the calendar flips to November, a familiar fall tradition begins here in Florida, courtesy of the state’s hometown grocer, Publix.  The supermarket giant’s famously idyllic commercials begin to flood the airwaves, featuring families gathering for the holidays and preparing their Thanksgiving feasts together, the makings of which — we are reminded with several not so subtle shots of the familiar green logo — were purchased at their local Publix.  Telling short stories of long lost relations returning after an absence, or listening in as […]

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it… The 2014 State of the Program Report is online now!

2013-2014 State of the Program Report can be downloaded as a web exclusive ahead of print release later this month… For all the Fair Food Activists, inquisitive journalists, and fans of cold hard facts and razor sharp analysis out there, the day has finally arrived — the 2013-2014 State of the Program Report is a wrap and you can download it here! Beyond its usual assortment of statistics and quantitative measures of compliance with the Fair Food Code of Conduct across the industry, the report also includes a liberal sprinkling of anecdotal evidence collected in the course of audits and […]

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As its national release nears, “Food Chains” messaging comes into focus…

In a scene that didn’t make the final cut of the film, Walmart joins the Fair Food Program. Documentary a chance for broader audience to learn about the extraordinary success story taking shape in Florida’s fields… “Food Chains” is a film about many things.  Its lens takes a wide angle, 360-degree look at the state of farm labor in this country today, and in the process it focuses on everything from the plight of grape pickers in California’s Napa Valley to our country’s current immigration quagmire, the history of farm labor struggles in the US, the economic dynamics and structure […]

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From Florida to Denver, Wendy’s hears from a fed up Fair Food Nation…

  With the fall picking season just around the corner, farmworkers in Immokalee and Fair Food activists across the country crank up creative Wendy’s actions… Between farmworkers returning to Florida for the start of the new harvest season and allies in cooler climes taking to the streets for vibrant Fair Food protests, it is safe to say that fall is finally here!  And after three great Wendy’s actions last week, you can be fairly certain that the fast food giant is also sensing a change in the air.   The always inspiring Denver Fair Food, pictured above, took advantage of the Day of the Dead holiday to put together a […]

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Bill Maher, Eva Longoria talk “Food Chains,” Fair Food Program on HBO’s Real Time!

HBO show highlights Fair Food Program as “Food Chains” readies for Nov. 21 release… Fair Food activists tuning into HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher were in for a real treat last Friday night, as “Food Chains” Executive Producer Eva Longoria joined Maher for an extended interview on the upcoming documentary, the plight of farmworkers in most of the US today, and the extraordinary advances for human rights that have taken place in Florida’s tomato industry thanks to the Fair Food Program.   Getting ten minutes of airtime on HBO is the kind of mainstream exposure that the Fair Food Program only rarely receives, and […]

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Fair Food Program gets its very own website!

New, stand-alone site explains structure, function of Fair Food Program’s multi-faceted approach to real, measurable social responsibility…  From 2001 to 2010, CIW members traveled the country with the Campaign for Fair Food, educating consumers about the human rights crisis that had plagued Florida’s fields for generations.  Like farmworkers everywhere across the United States, workers in Immokalee faced abuses that ranged from systemic wage theft to rampant sexual harassment and even modern-day slavery.   But through the Campaign for Fair Food, the CIW was able to build a national alliance of conscious, mobilized consumers and, over the course of the last decade, successfully pressure the major corporate buyers […]

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Updates: Human rights crisis in Mexico and “Food Chains” release countdown begins…

“Enough!  Mexico Is Ready to Explode”…   Two weeks ago we brought you an extended analysis of the human rights crisis in Mexico and its impact on the agricultural industry there.  In a post entitled “Fear and Fair Cannot Coexist,” we wrote: Mass graves.  Horribly disfigured corpses.  Police complicity in the ultraviolence of all-powerful drug gangs. Since 2005, stories like these have played out across Mexico’s headlines day after day, month after month, year after year.  But the details of last month’s mass killing and disappearance of student activists in the southern state of Guerrero stood out above the ever-growing […]

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New Fair Food Label takes off!

Excerpt of Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, speaking on Huffington Post Live about the Fair Food label on Food Day.  To watch the full interview, click here. New Fair Food Program label a huge hit in print and social media on Food Day…  The Fair Food Program’s new label debuted this past Friday, and it made quite the splash in the national media and the Twittersphere in the process!  The label, which was nearly five years in the making while the Fair Food Program was hard at work in the fields cleaning up generations of exploitation and abuse, was greeted […]

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“We have waited nearly five years before revealing this label to the world today…”

CIW releases long-awaited Fair Food Label! After four seasons of careful implementation of its unique model of worker-driven social responsibility, including the last three seasons across more than 90% of Florida’s $650 million tomato industry, the CIW is unveiling today the first-ever Fair Food Program label (above).  Its release truly marks a major milestone in the two-decade long journey that farmworkers and consumers have traveled together to bring justice to Florida’s fields (and beyond!). And there is no day more appropriate than Food Day – when people across the country stop to reflect on the future of our food system – to launch an image representing the historic remaking of the Florida tomato industry […]

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This Friday, help us spread the word as we launch the first-ever consumer label of the Fair Food Program!

This Friday, let’s make this Food Day the first-ever Fair Food Day! There are few food labels in the world with a history as deep — or a human rights program as remarkable — as the new Fair Food Program label, ready for its big reveal this coming Food Day, Friday, October 24th.   Indeed, it is an image two decades in the making.  It has been twenty years since farmworkers began organizing in the streets of Immokalee for “dignity, dialogue, and a fair wage”; thirteen years since consumers across the country took a stand, side by side with farmworkers, to hold the world’s largest buyers of Florida […]

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Exclusive new clip, Oscar buzz, more… Let’s check in on “Food Chains” one month out from Nov. 21 national release!

Film industry starting to take notice as Indiewire, Awards Circuit run stories on “Food Chains” ahead of its Thanksgiving release! The theatrical release of a feature film on the Campaign for Fair Food has always seemed, quite honestly, a little surreal, but as we reach the one month mark in the countdown to its November 21st release, it’s becoming more real by the day. Above is an exclusive clip shared with the online industry blog Indiewire for a quick story on the film, presented with this introduction: With all things “organic,” “artisanal,” and “locally sourced” being among the food trends […]

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