Trader Joe’s and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) signed an agreement on Feb. 9 that formalizes the ways in which Trader Joe’s will work with the CIW and Florida tomato growers to support the CIW’s Fair Food Program.
According to the coalition and Trader Joe’s, the Fair Food Program is a “groundbreaking approach to social responsibility in the U.S. produce industry that combines the Fair Food Code of Conduct—a set of labor standards developed in a unique collaboration among farm workers, tomato growers, and the food industry leaders who purchase Florida tomatoes—with a small price premium to help improve harvesters’ wages. The goal of the Fair Food Program is to promote the development of a sustainable Florida tomato industry that advances both the human rights of farm workers and the long-term interests of Florida tomato growers.
“We are truly happy today to welcome Trader Joe’s aboard the Fair Food Program,” said Gerardo Reyes of the CIW. “Trader Joe’s is cherished by its customers for a number of reasons, but high on that list is the company’s commitment to ethical purchasing practices. With this agreement, Trader Joe’s reaffirms that commitment and sends a strong—and timely—message of support to the Florida growers who are choosing to do the right thing, investing in improved labor standards, despite the challenges of a difficult marketplace and tough economic times.”
With the opening of the Naples, Fla., location, Trader Joe’s operates 367 neighborhood grocery stores across the nation.