Rural women play critical role; Food movement rising; Talking poverty… It must be time for a media round-up!

Plus… 2013 Peace Calendar features CIW!

It’s that time again. For several weeks now, articles have been piling up about the Campaign for Fair Food, good, compelling articles that, amidst the flurry of actions, tours, and visits to Immokalee that accompany the beginning of the fall season, we haven’t had a chance to share.

But we can’t let all those great stories gather dust forever, which means it’s time for a media round-up! Here below are links and excerpts to three of the top articles from the past few weeks, plus a bonus link to the 2013 Peace Calendar from the Syracuse Cultural Workers, which features the CIW and the Fair Food Program as its image/theme for the month of May (the beautiful photo at the top of this post is the calendar image).

  1. “Rural women play critical role in development, go unrecognized,” VOXXI, 10/16/12

    “As in other rural communities around the globe, the role of women is crucial in Immokalee. They not only participate in crop production but they also engage in off-farm activities (from handicrafts to empanadas) to diversify their families’ livelihoods.

    Rural women strongly support each other especially in taking care of the children, the elderly and the sick. Rural women who come from migrant families today run most childcare centers, health facilities and charitable organizations operating in the area.

    Migrant rural women in Immokalee have also been active in the CIW campaigns against slavery and for fair food. Thanks to their active contribution, in 2005 and after a national campaign, the coalition reached an agreement with Yum! Brand (which controls Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC) for a penny-a-pound increase in the price of tomatoes. Other wholesalers, including Subway and McDonalds signed similar deals.

    The agreement also included shorter workdays, portable tents for breaks, reduced exposure to pesticides and worker’s education on rights.

    Coming from very poor communities in the Third World country, rural women are used to not having tap water, electricity or even a cement floor in their homes. These migrant women in Immokalee are not very demanding and certainly know to make the best out of scarce resources, but without them the town would not have made any progress.” read more


  2. “The Food Movement Rising,” Earth Island Journal, 10/24/12

    Farmworkers’ rights: Farmworkers continue to be among the most poorly paid and exploited workers in our economy and yet, thanks to the hard work and organizing by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), farmworkers in Florida are starting to see wages and working conditions improve through the organization’s Fair Food Program. This month, after six years of campaigning, Chipotle announced it will sign the Coalition’s Fair Food Agreement to respect the rights and dignity of farmworkers by committing to pay a “penny-per-pound” premium for tomatoes to lift farmworker wages and only to buy from farms with fair labor practices.” read more


  3. “Bill Moyers: Talking About Poverty With Greg Kaufmann,”, 10/31/12

    Riley: Who are the visionaries — the people who are thinking creatively and realistically about how to overcome poverty?

    Kaufmann: These days, I’m very much drawn to both of the Edelmans — Peter and Marian Wright. I think Angela Glover Backwell is a powerful speaker with a clear vision. I love what Witnesses to Hunger is doing — women in poverty using photographs and their own testimonials to advocate for change at the local, state and federal levels. I’ve been following the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for about five years now, and I’m constantly astounded by what they are achieving with farmworkers — and the collective way in which they go about their work. I’m inspired every day by advocacy groups like Half in Ten, the Coalition on Human Needs, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, who are constantly pointing out the priorities and choices we are making and what a difference they make in people’s lives, for better or worse. And then there are the thinkers — at places like the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, EPI, CEPR, CLASP, Urban Institute — I could really go on and on. But again, I’m determined at this point to really speak as much as possible with people living in poverty. The three students I talked to last month who have dealt with poverty inspired me as much as anyone in the past year.” read more


And, last but not least, it’s never too early to order your 2013 calendar, so head over to the Syracuse Cultural Workers website now and order your copy of the 2013 Peace Calendar, where — along with months celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington — the last month of spring greets you with this inspiring message:



Together We Are Strong

From its 2001 successful boycott of Taco Bell to implementation of its Fair Food Program now covering 90% of Florida’s tomato farms, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has championed food worker justice. This photograph by Laura Emiko Soltis conveys the power of workers standing up, and standing together.