From Elena Stein, Interfaith Action of SW Florida
[NOTE: Pax Christi USA has endorsed this action and we encourage our members to participate in so much as they are able this Friday.]
On Friday, October 5th, people of faith across the nation will pray for Chipotle to include farmworkers in its vision of “food with integrity” by joining the Fair Food Program. The Fair Food Program is a proven partnership between farmworkers, 90 percent of Florida tomato growers, and corporate buyers that is creating a comprehensive, verifiable and sustainable Florida tomato industry that is premised on respect for farmworkers’ human rights. Ten massive food buyers like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway, have committed to paying to a “penny per pound” premium for tomatoes that is passed through to farmworkers by the growers to dramatically improve wages. Further, participating companies commit to purchase only from those Florida tomato growers that uphold human rights standards.
Chipotle, however has delayed, demurred and denied the opportunity to do the same.
Since 2006, faith allies have joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in urging Chipotle to include farmworkers in their supply chain as partners in ensuring “food with integrity.” Six years later, while Chipotle ensures humane standards for farm animals, it has yet to use its power to ensure human rights for farmworkers who harvest its tomatoes.
“There can be no legitimate definition of ‘integrity,’ sustainability or social responsibility when it comes to food without the participation of farmworkers and respect for our fundamental human rights,” said the CIW’s Oscar Otzoy.
“While Chipotle touts what it does for farmworkers, it refuses to work with farmworkers,” explains the Rev. Anne Dunlap of Liberation Community Church, a United Church of Christ congregation in Aurora, CO. “This is a serious moral failing, especially considering the existence of a proven model through which Chipotle could do this: the Fair Food Program.”
Therefore people of faith across the country will be praying for Chipotle’s executive leadership on Friday, October 5th, that they will no longer exclude from their vision of “integrity” the men and women who harvest the very food that Chipotle serves each day, and swiftly join the Fair Food Program.
“To the executives of Chipotle we have a simple but critical message;” said Rev. Dunlap. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”