In those words lies the connection to the movement for Fair Food that prompted me to stop and reflect on the passing of Nelson Mandela in Immokalee. Farm labor poverty must be addressed so that workers can be freed from crippling fear and empowered to stand up for their rights.
I can tell you unequivocally that Worker Center Watch's claims could not be farther from the truth. How do I know? I'm part of that "industry" they claim to represent -- I'm a food service executive responsible for over $75 million per year in produce purchases.
What's the quickest way to get thrown out of a Publix supermarket? Is it a) to run naked through the aisles, b) to point and yell 'horsemeat!' at the deli counter or c) to query the manager about whether workers picking tomatoes are treated as well as she'd like. In my case, it was option c).
So vast and fiery are the problems that it may seem impossible to imagine that solutions exist or that change may be imminent. And yet, 2012 brought advances and victories that shifted the debate, transformed power, and won real gains in quality of life.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the remarkable farmworker organization in Florida that I have written about many times over the years as they continue to win victory after victory in their Campaign for Fair Food, has done it again.