A Conversation with Lucas Benítez of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
I think that we need to create alliances between all the food
movements. We all want a healthy food supply and everyone in the
chain to be treated with dignity—from the production worker to
the consumer. But we are facing a monster: the corporate world.
They are only interested in money and profits. We have to be clear,
relentless, and determined to do what it takes in our communities
to create change where we want it. Eventually these corporations,
Saru Jayaraman, co-founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) speaking at the 2011 Community Food Security Coalition meeting.
7 of the 10 worst paying jobs in the U.S. are in the food system. This panel, part of the 15th Annual Conference of the Community Food Security Coalition, discussed the issues facing food workers and the creative, powerful ways that they are organizing to not only improve their own working conditions, but to transform the food system into a sustainable, just one.
By Eric Holt-Giménez and Annie Shattuck
Walmart recently created a firestorm of controversy within the 'Good Food Movement' when it donated $1.2 million to Milwaukee-based Growing Power, a national leader in the struggle to get good healthy food to low-income communities. Some food activists have criticized Growing Power for taking the money, saying the donation is a thinly veiled attempt to buy goodwill. Others assert Growing Power deserves the money -- and indeed should have received even more from Walmart.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers California Truth Tour aimed at getting Trader Joe’s to sign for one penny more per pound of tomatoes.
By Amelia Moore
On Thursday 14th July, Lucas Benitez from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) stopped by the Food First office to talk to the interns and staff about their campaign for better working conditions and labor rights for the tomato pickers of Immokalee, Florida. The visit formed part of the CIW’s week-long California Truth Tour that targeted Trader Joe’s with protests and community get-togethers.
Immokalee Workers Tour wraps up with powerful Bay Area finale! Days Six and Seven of the Trader Joe's CA Truth Tour July 16-17, 2011
Sunday's action -- and indeed the Truth Tour -- wrapped up with a brief exchange between Lucas Benitez and a Trader Joe's store manager. At first, the manager made clear that he felt the protest was inconvenient. Lucas said he understood, but assured him there were greater inconveniences at stake, like doing one of the hardest, most dangerous, most vital jobs in the country and never making enough to provide a decent life for your family.
New York Times - June 14, 2011, 8:30 pm
By MARK BITTMAN
Mass-produced tomatoes have become redder, more tender and slightly more flavorful than the crunchy orange “cello-wrapped” specimens of a couple of decades ago, but the lives of the workers who grow and pick them haven’t improved much since Edward R. Murrow’s revealing and deservedly famous Harvest of Shame report of 1960, which contained the infamous quote, “We used to own our slaves; now we just rent them.”
By Renée MacKillop
February 17, 2011
The Color of Food report is a broad survey of the food system, to map out the race, gender and class of workers along the supply chain.