PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Fair Food Program education travels to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina!

The Fair Food Program education team meets with workers on St. Helena Island in South Carolina, debuting a new popular education drawing on health and safety in the fields (June 2017)

Today, we bring you a first-hand glimpse into an essential element of the Fair Food Program:  The on-the-clock, on-the-farm, worker-to-worker education sessions, conducted by CIW members with thousands of farmworkers each season.  This summer, and for the third year running, the CIW’s Fair Food Program education team is spending the month of June following the tomato harvest beyond the borders of Florida into Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Drawing on decades of collective experience with the unique health and safety hazards, hard labor, and often harsh power dynamics involved in agricultural work, the farmworker education team brings an unparalleled level of expertise and authority to each education session, informing their fellow workers of their rights under the Fair Food Program and opening a space for dialogue with the company where workers are able to discuss their concerns without fear of retaliation.  What’s more, the team is constantly improving its methodology.   This summer, the education team debuted a set of popular education drawings, sketches that serve as a spark for group reflection and provide a sort of portal for workers to discuss common problems from the fields that might otherwise be too delicate to discuss in the abstract.

This image, for example, poses the problem of supervisor pressure on workers to work through the initial signs of heat stress and not avail themselves of the shade, water, and break time that the Fair Food Program requires participating farms to provide:

Meanwhile, this one touches on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the fields and the hostile work environment it creates, whether coming from supervisors or fellow workers: 

Armed with these new tools, the CIW education team has spent the first weeks of June on the first of multiple summer trips beyond the state of Florida.  To give you a better sense of this essential educational process that lies at the very foundation of the Fair Food Program, we bring you a slideshow of photos directly from the fields of from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina: