Fair Food Standards Council issues Season 7 Annual Report!

Featured in the newly-released 2018 Fair Food Program Annual Report, the above graph shows the rate of overall compliance within the Fair Food Program. The graph tracks the hard-won progress of an industry moving from a world with virtually no protections for farmworkers’ human rights to one in which human rights are the new normal.

Report “provides data and analysis of the current state of compliance within the Fair Food Program as of the end of Season 7 (2017-18)”

Latest report “serves as a supplement to the more comprehensive 2017 Annual Report“…

In keeping with its practice of providing the highest level of transparency into — and detailed statistical analysis of — the results of the Fair Food Program, the Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC) released its Season 7 Annual Report last week, and it is chock full of insights into the leading social responsibility program in agriculture today. You can download a copy of the Season 7 Report here.

The FFSC’s annual updates combine in-depth quantitative and qualitative reporting.  On the quantitative side, the reports compile the latest results from the FFSC’s “detailed records and monitoring efforts, tracking data from all audits and complaint investigations.”  Statistics that you’ll find in the latest report include: the distribution of over 247,000 educational booklets on workers’ rights under the Fair Food Program Code of Conduct since the start of the program seven seasons ago; the investigation and resolution of 2,144 complaints and the correction of 7,738 audit findings in that same time; and the distribution of nearly $30 million in Fair Food Premium (that number is up to nearly $33 million as we enter the 2019-2020 season!).

But equally important as the numbers is the qualitative, narrative reporting you’ll find in the annual update, the words of the nearly 25,000 farmworkers interviewed by FFSC auditors in the fields over the FFP’s first seven seasons.  The FFSC’s auditing protocols are described in the report, and are second to none in the field of social responsibility today:

With full access to farm operations and payroll records, as well as extensive presence in the fields and housing camps through announced and unannounced audits, FFSC investigators have an unprecedented degree of insight into growers’ operations.  Audits include in-depth interviews with management representatives, farm supervisors, and at least 50% of workers present at all farm locations.  The thoroughness and rigor of these audits give FFSC the knowledge needed to ensure that growers’ practices are in full compliance with the Code of Conduct.

Those best-in-class audits produce some remarkable results, carrying the voice of workers loud and clear out of the fields and into the leadership of a process that has wrought an unparalleled transformation of conditions in the agricultural industry.  For a sense of that voice, here is just one of the quotes from a recent audit that you will find in the Season 7 report (from June, 2018):

A Fair Food Standards Council Auditor speaks with a worker in the fields on a Fair Food Program farm.

The fields have changed.  

Now we have better wages and better treatment for everyone.  Before, there was nothing like that.

Before, I would be working under the sun, working hard, and I would want to stop for water.  The boss would stop me, and I would say, I need water.  He would say, there’s the ditch over there, it’s got some water. There were no water bottles.  We were exhausted, we need water.  There were no toilets.

Before, if you spoke out, you would be fired.  Tomorrow, don’t come, there’s no work for you.

But now that we are united, we have strength.  We are taking steps forward, and we cannot go back.  We have to go forward.  

We are building a road forward, and we will never go back. 

Download your copy of the FFSC’s annual report today.  There truly is nothing else like the Fair Food Program in the world of social responsibility today, and with the Season 7 report you’ll have unequaled visibility into the FFP’s extraordinary power to transform generations of exploitation into a bright new future of dignity and steady, groundbreaking progress.