Fair Food Program on the Podcast playlist: CIW’s Gerardo Reyes Chavez and Greg Asbed on building a successful human rights movement…

Gerardo Reyes Chavez and Greg Asbed, two key, longtime leaders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), were interviewed in separate podcasts recently about the history of the CIW, the origins of the groundbreaking Fair Food Program and Worker-driven Social Responsibility model, and the continuing struggle for human rights in corporate supply chains in the fields and beyond.

CIW’s Asbed was interviewed in July for Fluent in Floridian, a podcast featuring Florida leaders speaking “about the issues most important to the people of Florida.”  And early this month, Reyes was invited as a guest on Chutzpod!, a weekly podcast hosted by Rabbi Shira Stutman and Joshua Malina, to discuss the history of the CIW’s struggle for human rights and the human cost behind the food we eat during the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot.  Rabbi Stutman herself visited Immokalee a number of years ago as part of T’ruah’s annual “tomato rabbi” delegation, learning the CIW’s history first-hand from farmworker leaders and participating in a prayer demonstration in the tomato aisle at Publix in support of the Campaign for Fair Food.

Both podcasts contain key lessons about the CIW’s successful community and consumer organizing efforts, as well as crucial insights into the creation and evolution of the Fair Food Program, a radically different new model for leveraging the purchasing power of the world’s billion dollar retail food brands for protecting workers’ fundamental human rights in global supply chains. From a hardscrabble beginning toward a bright future, Asbed and Reyes have been present from the earliest days of the CIW and played key roles in building the farmworker community’s unique movement for human rights in Florida and beyond.

Click play below to hear Gerardo discuss his life and work, from facing incredible challenges as a young farmworker in Immokalee during the late 1990s to being part of creating and implementing the single most effective solution to generations of egregious human rights violations in U.S. agriculture through the Fair Food Program:


Chutzpod! Fair Food Program (with Gerardo Reyes Chavez): “At the root of it, the lack of change from an entire industry was based on the lack of recognition of the humanity of their own workers.”


And click below to listen to Fluent in Floridian’s podcast episode featuring Greg Asbed, who describes the early struggles of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to build a new, bottom-up human rights movement, and the recent successes of the Fair Food Campaign in transforming the lives of thousands of workers and confronting multibillion dollar corporations:

Fluent in Floridian with Greg Asbed: “We came up with a theory about how to beat cancer. And we put that theory to the test… We tested it and it works…now we’ve got to get this cure everywhere because cancer is everywhere… But in this case, the cancer is labor exploitation and poverty and generational poverty that gives people little chance of even dreaming of anything different for their children.”



To get involved in the work of the Fair Food Program and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, check out the Fair Food Program’s website, which has ways you can get involved to help support the cause of human rights in the food sector.