TEDMED video featuring CIW’s Gerardo Reyes Chavez and Greg Asbed goes live!

CIW at TEDMED 2018:  “…a new theory of change was born: Rather than fight with farmers over a shrinking slice of the pie, we were going to have to make common cause with consumers to demand an entirely new kind of food – Fair Food…”

Just a few short months ago, CIW’s Gerardo Reyes and Greg Asbed sat together on the TEDMED stage and delivered a wide-ranging, 18-minute talk on a movement and a model “with the potential to spark a 21st century human rights revolution.”  Since then, TEDMED has been releasing full videos of each talk one by one – and today, we are excited to share that the video of CIW just went live!

The video is one of many excellent presentations at last fall’s annual TEDMED conference.  CIW’s talk was part of a three-day program of 36 speakers.  To refresh, TEDMED is a subset of the widely-recognized world of TED Talks:

… the independent health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED conference, dedicated to ‘ideas worth spreading.’  TED Talks have been viewed online over two billion times around the world… Created by TED’s founder, TEDMED convenes and curates extraordinary people and ideas from all disciplines both inside and outside of medicine in pursuit of unexpected connections that accelerate innovation in health and medicine.

Their presentation covered the generational poverty and abuse of this country’s farmworkers; the 25-year history of the CIW’s efforts to address that exploitation from its base in Immokalee, Florida; the proven success of the Fair Food Program in ending decades of human rights abuse for tens of thousands of workers in seven states along the East Coast; and the tremendous potential of the broader Worker-driven Social Responsibility model to spread that success to tens of millions of workers toiling today at the bottom of corporate supply chains around the world. 

Along with the video, on the TEDMED website, you can find a follow-up interview with CIW to accompany the video!  Here are just a few highlights, and you can read the full interview here.

TM: The FFP model has successfully interrupted deep-rooted patterns of violence and modern-day slavery in the agricultural industry. What do you think makes the program so effective?

G&G: The Program’s success is due to two key elements: 1) the participation of workers, from start to finish, in the standards-setting, monitoring, and enforcement process and, 2) its ability to harness the purchasing power of the billion dollar brands as both carrot and stick to encourage growers to participate and to enforce Program’s standards when they are violated. Workers not only know exactly how, when and where abuses take place in the fields, they also happen to be there when the vast majority of abuses take place. That makes them ideally suited to both set the standards for the Program and to be the front-line monitors of their own rights. But no matter how strong a set of standards may be, or even how well monitored, if the power to enforce those standards is missing, then it is all for naught. The purchasing power of the multi-billion dollar brands at the top of the food industry — companies like Whole Foods and McDonald’s — is the power that drives compliance in the Fair Food Program. And the incentive their purchases represent to the growers in the Program is so great that it not only fixes violations when they occur, it brings about the gold standard of enforcement — prevention — making a world without victims, the best possible outcome, possible…  Read more.

Enjoy the video, and please share far and wide with all of your networks!