COVID-19 RESPONSE: Take action to protect farmworkers in Immokalee!


YOU can help fund and expand the Fair Food Program’s unprecedented COVID-19 protections for the women and men putting food on America’s tables by donating on Giving Tuesday!  Click here to contribute.

By almost any measure, 2020 has been a year without equal in modern history.  The COVID-19 pandemic has taken nearly 1,400,000 souls across the globe, with still several more months of sickness and death to come before a vaccine can deliver us from this particular evil.  Here at home, our response to the pandemic has been muddied and overshadowed by unprecedented political instability and discord, rendering local, state, and federal government agencies impotent or unwilling to respond adequately to COVID-19.  At the same time, a national reckoning on the routine violence and injustice faced by Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities at the hands of police has swept the country in waves, bringing millions into the streets to demand long-overdue racial justice.

As this almost impossibly long and trying year comes to a close, it has never been more important for us to protect and support each other.

This Giving Tuesday, you can stand with farmworkers – essential workers laboring in the fields to put food on America’s tables – in their fight for safe working conditions.  Click here to make a donation.

Among those who have been hit the hardest by this year’s many crises are the country’s essential workers, from healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 to farmworkers rising before dawn to harvest the season’s crops in towns like Immokalee.  In spite of the looming threat of the virus, farmworkers have worked tirelessly to keep the food system going – and to keep food on the table for their own families – since the start of the pandemic last March.

“We have to keep working, even though we’re afraid something is going to happen. We surrender ourselves to God and hope.” – Maria (CNN, April 2020)

But while the vast majority of farmworkers in Florida and across the country face the pandemic with few protections and no power to demand a safe workplace, we know it does not have to be that way:  On farms across seven states and multiple industries, farmworkers under the Fair Food Program can count on unmatched protections against COVID-19 at work.

Now in its tenth year, the Fair Food Program has been able to virtually eliminate a wide range of longstanding human rights abuses in the agricultural industry.  And this season, the Program has risen to the unique challenge of 2020, forging ahead with socially-distanced worker-to-worker education in the fields, developing innovative new auditing protocols, and launching the COVID-19 Illness Prevention, Assessment and Response Plan, the country’s first (and thus far, only) mandatory and privately-enforced health and safety protocols in response to the pandemic. Since its launch in 2011, the FFP has harnessed the power of the market – won through hard-fought, creative, and ongoing public campaigns – to build an enduring structure of accountability, transparency, and human rights enforcement.  This year, that same groundbreaking program has proven its power not only to protect workers’ human rights in normal times, but to protect their very lives in times of extraordinary crisis.

Between now and the end of 2020, we are aiming to raise at least $30,000 to support the Fair Food Program’s efforts to combat COVID-19 in the fields and to expand the Program to new states and industries in the year ahead.  Our end-of-year campaign begins on Giving Tuesday. 

Keeping each other safe and well in times of crisis cannot be done alone, but only through collective action.  For Giving Tuesday, will you be a part of expanding the urgently-needed protections of the Fair Food Program to more essential workers across the country?

The Fair Food Program – and the unparalleled impact it has had on the lives of tens of thousands of farmworkers – would never have come to be without the support of people like you.  Likewise, we cannot expand this pioneering program without your help.  Please share this call for support on Giving Tuesday with your friends, your networks, and your family!




TUESDAY CALL-IN DAY: Demand transparency from Collier County Sheriff’s Office!

November 23, 2020

TOMORROW: “We are fighting for the truth”… Support the family of Nicolas Morales, farmworker shot and killed by Collier County Sheriff’s Deputy by calling Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk at 239-252-0555 As readers of this site know, Nicolas Morales, a single father and longtime farmworker in Immokalee was shot and killed in the early hours of September 17th by a deputy with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO).  There are few details from the night of Nicolas’s death, but these facts seem to be established: Three officers, armed with their service weapons and accompanied by a trained police K9, arrived […]

Op/ed from President of Florida First Amendment Foundation calls for transparency from Collier County Sheriff’s Office in shooting death of Nicolas Morales…

November 20, 2020

FAF President Pamela Marsh in the Tampa Bay Times: “In the Sunshine State, the courts are clear: Information in an active criminal investigation may be released, precisely for the sake of building public trust. In the case of Nicolas Morales, the release of non-confidential records — especially the dash cam footage — could help shed light on what happened between the 911 call and Nicolas Morales’ death, which could also be crucial in improving practices by law enforcement and preventing future shootings…” It has been two months since the Collier County Sheriff’s Office dispatched three deputies and a K-9 to […]

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Student/Farmworker Alliance launches Deliver With Dignity!

November 18, 2020

Students across the country call on DoorDash, UberEats, Grubhub, and Postmates to join the Wendy’s Boycott today! Student/Farmworker Alliance: “As young consumers, we believe it is imperative that industry leaders at the top of the food supply chain do their part to ensure the health and wellbeing of the essential people at the bottom of the chain who do the work of feeding us all…” For nearly twenty years, students and young people have been a driving force of creativity and energy behind the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food – and in spite of all of the unprecedented challenges and […]

CIW at 2020 Climate Underground Conference: “The pandemic was like a stress test… for the food system as a whole”…

November 13, 2020

CIW: “The disconnect between the people who pick fruits and vegetables for a living and the people who buy them and eat them at the end of the chain is almost total…” Late last month, former Vice President Al Gore held a virtual version of a gathering organized on his family’s farm in Tennessee for the first time last year known as the Climate Underground Conference.  From well-known food authors and chefs like Michael Pollan and Alice Waters to longtime advocates and journalists like Ricardo Salvador of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Naomi Starkman of Civil Eats, the conference […]

The campaign is over, the votes are all counted, and the results are in!…

November 9, 2020

And we won! No, not that vote… The Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Student Government votes unanimously to adopt resolution in support of the national Wendy’s Boycott! FGCU Resolution: “Therefore let it be enacted that the FGCU Student Body Senate… calls upon administration to not allow Wendy’s to be a food provider on campus unless the company signs onto the Fair Food Program…” Whew!  What a week… We have the results of an exciting vote to report from the Campaign for Fair Food, a portent of things to come as the Wendy’s Boycott picks up steam with the semester well underway at […]

Family of Nicolas Morales: “We are fighting for the truth…”

October 30, 2020

Morales’s family comes together with CIW, Collier faith and community leaders to make public call for transparency, justice… Lucas Benitez, CIW: “A police officer killed one of us a month ago in the quiet streets of Farmworker Village… We can’t bring Nicolas back to life; we can’t give his son his father back.  But we can work together to ensure that justice is done, that the truth of Nicolas’s death is told.”   Collier County Sheriff’s Office reveals deputy who shot farmworker Nicolas Morales already back on active duty in Immokalee; Last month, Nicolas Morales, a single father and longtime farmworker […]

Author: Corporate Social Responsibility “badly failing to detect, address, and prevent forced labour in the global economy.”

October 21, 2020

Genevieve LeBaron, author of new book Combatting Modern Slavery: Why Labour Governance Is Failing and What We Can Do About it, pens scathing critique of corporate-led social responsibility efforts for Reuters Foundation in op/ed titled, “It’s time to stop believing corporate fairy tales about modern slavery”; “Study after study has found that tools like social auditing and ethical certification are profoundly flawed and ineffective when it comes to the worst forms of labour exploitation… Research reveals corporate fairytales for what they are: enthralling stories that are very unlikely to be true.” This past August we reported on the publication of a landmark, […]

“From empty standards to enforceable rights”…

October 15, 2020

Migrant Justice releases landmark report documenting unprecedented progress in Vermont dairy industry under Milk with Dignity Program; Worker under MWD Program: “Before we never spoke up, now we have the freedom to speak, without any fear that we’ll be fired.  You feel more secure, with all the benefits and knowing all your rights.”; Participating Farmer: “The [Milk with Dignity premium] might make the difference between us still having a farm a year from now or not.” Here below is a story of human rights progress on one of Vermont’s iconic dairy farms that you will not hear from any other […]

Students, youth set to gather this weekend for a virtual gathering of strategy building for the Wendy’s Campaign…

October 13, 2020

Apply today to join the Student/Farmworker Alliance 2020 Encuentro: “Piecing Together Justice,” Oct. 17-18… Despite all of the unforeseen challenges 2020 has thrown our way, the young leaders of the Student/Farmworker Alliance have once again banded together to push forward a critical marker of the Campaign for Fair Food’s yearly calendar: the annual SFA Encuentro gathering.  This weekend, Oct. 17-18, young people from across the country will gather virtually for a weekend of learning new organizing skills, strategizing with farmworker leaders of the CIW, and deepening their commitment to the movement for Fair Food.  There’s still time to submit your […]

COVID-19 MEDIA ROUND-UP: In Florida and across the country, farmworkers are denied adequate healthcare protections by state and local officials amid case surges…

October 9, 2020

National Geographic: “While empty grocery store shelves and mile-long food bank lines have become less prevalent than during the early days of the pandemic, advocates say essential workers and their families are still as vulnerable as ever…” Fall is officially here, and in Immokalee that means that the sidewalks along Main Street, the four-lane road running through  the heart of the Florida farmworker community, are filling up with migrant workers returning from northern states.  The new harvest season is just around the corner, and with it, the potential for another major outbreak of COVID-19. Indeed, even as new cases surge […]