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On farms across North America, immigrant workers face exploitation varying from wage theft to sexual assault and forced labor.
Now, indie food brand Soupergirl is inviting consumers to take a stand against labor abuse with every spoon of soup they slurp. Sold directly to consumers and through select Whole Foods Market stores, Soupergirl's gazpacho is the first packaged food to be Fair Food-certified.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has long fought to improve wages and working conditions for migrant farmworkers and has helped the US government prosecute cases of modern-day slavery. In 2010, it founded the Fair Food Program. Participating farms are subject to third-party inspections and must allow CIW staff to educate workers on their rights.
CIW first focused its efforts on retailers and fast food outlets. Brands like Walmart, Trader Joe's, Burger King and Taco Bell, who — sometimes with a fair bit of outside pressure — now work with CIW to improve field conditions on tomato farms. With its Fair Food label, the workers' coalition is taking awareness up a notch by getting consumers involved.
Gazpacho without that bitter aftertaste of exploitation...? Rising numbers of consumers are aware of their consumption's many negative impacts on the planet and other people. Which creates opportunities for brands to do better, too. What's your industry's Fair Food label? And how can your brand demonstrate that workers throughout its supply chain are ensured dignity, safety and respect?
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