Stand with Farmworkers–Protest Trader Joe’s!

One of the organizations that is doing great farmworker organizing and advocacy is the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, based out of Florida. They’ve uncovered countless cases of modern day slavery, and fought (and won!) against massive corporations to improve conditions for folks laboring in the fields in Florida. But right now, one of the stores that refuses to sign an agreement with CIW is….Trader Joe’s!

That’s why folks are holding a protest tomorrow (Thursday) at Trader Joe’s in Union Square. Here are the details:

Thursday, March 18
6-7 PM
Trader Joe’s on 14th Street

And here are some more details about the campaign and Trader’s Joes intransigence to this point:

Grinding poverty leaves farmworkers vulnerable to further exploitation from employers. In the most extreme cases, forced labor. Since 1997, over 1,000 fruit and vegetable harvesters have escaped slavery rings, including both documented and undocumented workers as well as U.S. citizens in the agricultural fields of Florida (and the southeastern United States).

The Campaign for Fair Food aims to take a preventative approach by asking large corporations, like Trader Joe’s, to leverage their high volume purchasing power to pay a premium price for tomatoes as well as sign a human rights agreement (like large corporations – Whole Foods and Subway have done) to agree to more humane standards in the fields, including a zero tolerance policy on forced labor, that is created and implemented by the workers themselves.

Just Harvest USA has informed Trader Joe’s of these issues as well as identified stores carrying tomatoes from farms whose crew leaders were found guilty of slave labor in 2008. A year later, Trader Joe’s has responded with silence and continue to boast about the sustainability of its food.



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5 responses to “Stand with Farmworkers–Protest Trader Joe’s!

  1. monica

    I will pass the word around, I knew it, Trader’s Joe was too good to be true. Thank you for informing me.

  2. ralph hietala

    I like the walnut bread at trader joe’s.
    Is that ok?

  3. Thanks Monica. I think Trader Joe’s will come around–they just need a little pressure to do the right thing. And I think walnut bread is absolutely okay! The organization isn’t calling for a boycott–they just want to meet with the company.

  4. I’m new to CA and new to Trader Joe’s. It all seemed to good to be true. So I googled “Trader Joe’s” + “too good to be true.” This is where I landed.

    I knew there was something. Nobody’s perfect, but when you base your differentiation in your marketing on higher ethical standards, then sliding by on these issues, hoping not enough noise will be made, is truly egregious.

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