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Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Bonita Springs Consumers Protest Publix Grand Opening in Bonita Springs

-via press release from Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida
 
Publix refuses to join worker-led social responsibility program described on the front page of the April’s New York Times as “the best workplace-monitoring program in the U.S.”

-Bonita Springs, Fla.; [June 19, 2014] – Thursday at 7:30 a.m., local consumers will join Immokalee farmworkers of the internationally-recognized Coalition of Immokalee Workers in protesting outside the grand opening of the Publix in The Center of Bonita Springs.

Together, the demonstrators will be calling on Publix Supermarkets to join the Fair Food Program, a groundbreaking collaboration that has won praise from the White House to the United Nations for its unique success in addressing decades-old farm labor abuses at the heart of the nation’s trillion-dollar food industry.

What: Protest at Publix in Bonita Springs at Grand Opening

When: Thursday, June 19 at 7:30 a.m.

Where: Publix Supermarket, 3304 Bonita Beach Road, The Center of Bonita Springs (Store #1449)

Why: Publix Supermarkets has staunchly refused to join the Fair Food Program for four years, choosing instead to support the handful of Florida tomato growers where workers are denied access to the Program’s higher standards and “penny-per-pound” bonus.

The Fair Food Program (FFP) is an historic partnership among farmworkers, Florida tomato growers, and twelve multibillion-dollar tomato retailers, including Publix’s major competitors Walmart, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. By committing to the FFP, participating retailers require more humane labor standards from their Florida tomato suppliers, agree to purchase exclusively from those who meet these higher standards, and pay a “penny-per-pound” premium which is passed down through the supply chain and paid out to workers by their employers.

The FFP was described on the front page of April’s New York Times as “the best workplace-monitoring program in the U.S.” and heralded in a White House report as “one of the most successful and innovative programs” for combating modern-day slavery. Since 2011, participating buyers have invested more than $15 million into the Fair Food Program, supporting the first significant pay increase for workers in over 30 years.

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