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A History & Timeline

1993—The CIW began as a small group of workers who met weekly at a local church. It was here that the pursuits for farmworker’s rights were borne.

1998—Community-wide work stoppages and hunger strikes solidified the CIW’s request for fair treatment. Over this period, industry-wide raises of 13-25%, along with social and political respect from the outside communities, helped the CIW get their message across to some of the major corporations who bought Immokalee tomatoes at unfair prices.

2000—A 231 mile march from Fort Myers to Orlando aided in ending a twenty year decline of wages in the tomato industry. An anti-trafficking network was established with the Department of Justice, along with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

2001—The first farm-worker boycott against major corporations was launched against  “companies such as current campaign targets Kroger, Publix, and Ahold USA  [who]  purchased a tremendous volume of fruits and vegetables, leveraging its buying power to demand the lowest possible prices from its suppliers, in turn exerting a powerful downward pressure on wages and working conditions in these suppliers’ operations.” It was in this protest that the CIW called for major corporations to take responsibility for human rights abuses taking place throughout the fields.

2005—A four year boycott against Taco Bell finally culminated into a success for the CIW. Taco Bell agreed to pay more for Immokalee tomatoes, thus increasing worker’s wags, and also to aid in making working conditions more favorable for the workers.

2007—A struggle with McDonald’s culminated in victory. The CIW took hold of yet another major corporate chain in America’s food ways.

2008—Burger King becomes the third fast food restraint to agree to the terms of the CIW. This lead to agreements with organic food retailers, Whole Foods, and fast food chain, Subway.

2009-2010—CIW sought agreements from food service providers and successfully received agreements from Bon Appétit Management Co., Compass Group, Aramark and Sodexo. The CIW also signed an agreement with the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange that aided in extending the CIW’s Fair Food Principles.

2012—Trader Joe’s becomes the second grocer to sign the agreement, along with Chipotle Mexican Grill. Just Harvest USA—“an organization comprised of food movement leaders and grassroots organizations”—joined the alliance.

2013– The CIW is still pursuing Publix corporation through protests and marches, as well as Wendy’s corporation.


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