Bring the Fair Food Program to Your Neighborhood!

Nearly two thousand New Yorkers join farmworkers from Immokalee for a massive march through Manhattan as part of the Wendy’s Boycott in 2019.

SURVEY: Tell us about your local food co-op or independent grocer and if they might help support the award-winning Fair Food Program!

Remember life, and the Fair Food movement, before the pandemic?…  

Even if massive Fair Food marches may remain on hold while the nation fights COVID-19, you can still help support and expand the FFP’s award-winning protections by calling on your local food co-op or independent grocery store to become a Fair Food Sponsor today!

While “normal life” for most of us has changed dramatically since the spring of 2020, the widespread abuse and exploitation of farmworkers in this country — beyond the protections of the Fair Food Program — has not.  That’s why educating consumers about farmworkers’ human rights and the lifesaving protections of the FFP remains as urgent as ever.  At the same time, unfortunately, the pandemic has significantly restricted the colorful, energetic activism that the Fair Food movement is known for, denying the movement a uniquely effective tool for both spreading the word about the FFP and expanding the Program to workers in new states and new crops.  

Yet, remarkably — and thanks in no small part to the seemingly infinite creativity of the Fair Food Nation — we have been able to maintain our momentum over the past year and a half, both expanding the Fair Food Program and keeping the pressure on Wendy’s in the Campaign for Fair Food.  And in keeping with that wonderful spirit of creativity, we are excited to share today a new, hands-on way for you to support the expansion of the Fair Food Program and keep that momentum going without even leaving your own neighborhood.  

Your Local Co-Op or Independent Grocer Can Join the Fair Food Sponsor Program!

Today we’re launching a survey for supporters who shop at co-ops or local,  independent grocery stores to help us explore possibilities for expansion through the Fair Food Sponsor Program. 

Because the Fair Food Program leverages the industry-defining power of corporate buyers, smaller food retailers have often been left out of the equation.  Yet we know, from years of one-on-one conversations across the country, that many of our strongest supporters are also members of their local co-ops or regulars at their local independent, ethically-minded grocers.  The FFP Sponsor Program creates a new entry point for smaller retailers who may not command the same market power as Participating Buyers, but aspire to support ethical practices and to meet the expectations of a committed shopper base.

For each of those retailers, becoming a sponsor would empower them to directly support the FFP by committing to:

a) buy FFP produce when possible,

b) financially support both a pay bonus for farmworkers on FFP participating farms and the FFP’s gold standard monitoring and enforcement efforts, and,

c) engage in education and outreach with their members/shoppers about farmworkers’ human rights and the Fair Food Program. 

Thus far, the Park Slope Food Coop, Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op and Each Peach Market have been the first to join the Sponsor Program, and we know that there are countless members of the Fair Food Nation who have ideas about which co-ops and stores could, and should, be next!  For a sense of why ethical food retailers like the three pioneers above might consider becoming an FFP Sponsor, here’s what the folks at the Park Slope Food Coop had to say about why they joined:

As one of the countrys leading local coop retail stores, the Park Slope Food Coop is proud to support the Fair Food Program. As our Mission Statement says, ‘We seek to avoid products that depend on the exploitation of others.’ Ethical production and sourcing are among our core values, and our membership has voted overwhelmingly to support the FFP – a first in the nation for a local retailer. The Fair Food Program embodies those values, ensuring that the food we buy each day to feed our families is harvested with dignity and respect for the women and men laboring in the fields.”

Think your own local co-op or independent grocer might like to join, too?  We’d love to hear what you think and get your ideas about who the next Fair Food Program Sponsor should be! 

Take the survey here