2019 in review, Part 2: The strength of the Fair Food Nation

Young Fair Food leaders chant and sing during a Wendy’s Boycott action in New York City.

In 2020, you can support the country’s most powerful consumer movement: the Campaign for Fair Food. Donate today!

The Campaign for Fair Food – the product of a carefully constructed alliance between farmworkers in Florida and a network of tens of thousands of conscious, committed consumers stretching from coast to coast – was born in 2001. Eighteen years later – thanks to the tireless efforts of every single individual who has marched, fasted, chanted, donated, called a corporate CEO, or painted a banner – that campaign has won binding legal agreements between farmworkers and fourteen of the world’s largest food retailers, giving birth to the award-winning Fair Food Program.

In 2019 alone, farmworkers have traveled tens of thousands of miles to educate, break bread with, and march alongside faith leaders, students, community leaders and others – and that was only possible with the generous support of donors like you. Will you help farmworkers build an even stronger national movement in 2020 by donating today?

Together with the Alliance for Fair Food, the CIW is fighting today to bring the final fast food holdout, Wendy’s, into the Fair Food Program – and 2019 was the biggest year yet for the national Wendy’s Boycott.

For starters, February marked one of the first major victories in the Student/Farmworker Alliance-led Boot the Braids Campaign, when – with the CIW’s 4 for Fair Food Tour just weeks away – news broke that Wendy’s would not be returning to the University of Michigan campus. The announcement followed a dramatic wave of support for the Fair Food Program from students, and a resolution of support adopted by the Ann Arbor City Council. In the words of University of Michigan postdoctoral fellow and longtime Fair Food ally Kimberly Daley: “Wendy’s, as the sole fast-food company that has yet to join the Fair Food Program, has refused to meet that standard. Instead of cheap “4 for $4” meals, as students, we need to see human rights on the menu.”

Thanks to the generous donations of allies like you, we are able to rent the buses, provide the food, produce the colorful artwork, and do everything else we need to organize – and win – across the country. Donate today to keep the momentum rolling in 2020!

Students at the University of Florida turn up the volume on President Fuchs to cut the university’s contract with Wendy’s during the 4 for Fair Food Tour in March 2019.

On the heels of that major victory, the CIW set out on the 10-day “4 for Fair Food Tour” – the longest tour in the past decade of the Campaign for Fair Food – stopping not only in Michigan but also at three other major universities where student movements are on the rise to kick Wendy’s off campus. In addition to mobilizing thousands of students and community members in support of the Wendy’s Boycott, the Tour reached millions of new consumers with an article on the front page of the New York Times Business Section, which declared, in no uncertain terms:

 “…over the last decade, [the Fair Food Program] has helped transform the state’s tomato industry from one in which wage theft and violence were rampant to an industry with the some of the highest labor standards in American agriculture.”

Finally, in November of this year, farmworkers took the fight for Fair Food to the capital of the financial world, New York City, where Wendy’s major institutional investors and Board Chairman reside. Over 500 boycotters gathered in the streets of the Big Apple to demand “What are you hiding, Wendy’s?”. Our message not only echoed down the skyscraper-lined streets of Manhattan, but also reverberated across social media, with resounding support from comic and actor Amy Schumer as well as U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

Rev. Kaji Douša, Senior Pastor at Park Avenue Christian Church speaking to a crowd of 500+ following the “What are you hiding, Wendy’s?” March

In 2020, we’re heading back to New York for the major spring action – and we need your help to make it happen. If you donate today, your dollars will make it possible for farmworkers and their families to converge on New York with allies from across the country, buoyed by the unwavering support of donors like you. Click here to donate today!