Extra! Extra! Farmworkers, Tarheel State residents announce North Carolina Publix Truth Tour…


October 29th – November 8th:  Fair Food Nation gears up for five-city tour across Publix’s new territory…

In just a few short weeks, farmworkers in Immokalee will pack their belongings into a caravan and head up to North Carolina for the season’s fall Truth Tour!  Armed with artwork, a burst of energy from the buzz of a new tomato season in Florida, and the support of hundreds of consumers across the Tarheel state, CIW members have actions, film screenings, and presentations scheduled in five major NC cities:  Charlotte, Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Asheville.

Farmworker members during the 2004 Taco Bell Truth Tour in Montgomery, Alabama
Farmworker members during the 2004 Taco Bell Truth Tour in Montgomery, Alabama

Of course, this is far from the first CIW Truth Tour.

For the last thirteen years, Immokalee farmworkers have been piling into vans and buses to traverse the country on annual Truth Tours, starting with a cross-country journey in 2002 to spread the word about the nascent Taco Bell Boycott.  Each tour — whether mapped through Monterrey or Montgomery, Atlanta or Austin — has shared the same essential goal:  For farmworkers to use the power of their voices, in concert with those of consumers, to expose the truth about farm labor poverty and exploitation behind the food we all eat, and to demand that this country’s major retailers take responsibility for the working conditions within their supply chains.

On the other hand, for the last six years, Publix has done nothing but keep its collective corporate head stubbornly buried in the sand — flatly rejecting their responsibility to ensure human rights for farmworkers who harvest their tomatoes, even as competitor after competitor has joined the ranks of Participating Buyers in the Fair Food Program.  All the while, the Florida-based supermarket continues to present itself to consumers as a company rooted in the local community, deeply invested in the wellbeing of families over the wellbeing of their own pocketbook.  

The good people of North Carolina have been hearing that line a lot in recent years, as more and more shiny new Publix stores appear in the Tarheel state.

CIW members are joined by 80+ Asheville residents in 2014 ahead of the opening of a new Publix store

And North Carolinian consumers’ overwhelming response (time and time again) has been crystal clear:  You can’t expand into our neighborhoods without expanding your commitment to human rights.  So later this month, in keeping with a decade-and-a-half tradition of spreading seeds of truth and taking action with conscious, committed consumers across the country, farmworkers and allies will be hitting city after city in North Carolina, replete with screenings of the James Beard Award-winning documentary Food Chains, protests and presentations.

If you’re in the South and ready go join the CIW on a stop of the tour yourself, let us know at organize (at) allianceforfairfood.org!