Slave-free tomato Tuesday is here. And while I'll be cooking with and eating happy tomatoes all day and sharing a few recipes with you, I want to first provide some information about the issues surrounding slavery in Florida's tomato fields and an amazingly easy, won't-take-more-than-a-minute way to act!
The Problem Slavery is not just happening overseas. Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Molloy once called Florida’s tomato fields “ground zero” for modern-day slavery in the United States. In the past 15 years, 7 cases of forced-labor slavery have been successfully prosecuted, resulting in over 1,000 people freed from slavery in U.S. tomato fields.
The Solution Recipe for Change–a campaign led by International Justice Mission in partnership with the Fair Food Standards Council and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers–is targeting three major supermarket chains this summer (Ahold, Publix and Kroger’s), and asking its CEOs to support the Fair Food Program. Corporations that join agree to pay a small price increase for fairly harvested tomatoes (1.5 cents more per pound), and promise to shift purchases to the Florida tomato growers who abide by these higher standards–and away from those who won’t.
Major fast food companies, like McDonalds and Subway, have already endorsed the Fair Food Program as have Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, but many of the largest U.S. supermarket chains have yet to support this collaborative effort to eradicate modern-day slavery.
Call to Action Supermarkets can help eliminate slavery and other serious abuses from the tomato supply chain when they join the Fair Food Program. But in order to change its policies, CEOs need pressure from consumers. That's where you come in! Take 30 seconds right now to raise your voice: sign your name to help ensure that supermarket tomatoes are slave-free! Please also visit The Giving Table to learn more about food philanthropy.
Now, head out to a local farmers market, Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, buy yourself some beautiful perfectly-in-season tomatoes and make yourself a marvelous lunch. A basic tomato sandwich on good bread with mayo and salt is both easy and delicious.