Our work with The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) continued this past year with joint speaking engagements to publicize the mission of the CIW -- to improve the working conditions of agricultural workers who harvest fresh tomatoes grown in Florida. The Immokalee region provides 95% of all U.S. grown tomatoes eaten by Americans during the winter season.
This past summer at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights' Compass Conference, Cheryl Queen of Compass Group and Lucas Benitez of Coalition of Immokalee Workers (also a 2003 RFK Human Rights Award Laureate), presented on the partnership to an audience of investors.
"...create tangible change in the lives of tomatoes
harvesters in Florida..."
At the 2011 COMMIT!Forum, we were asked to present the partnership model with Lucas Benitez at the conference. Cited by organizers and in Forbes Magazine's blog as a new model of collaboration, our partnership exemplifies a new model corporate citizens can work with NGOs to change for the betterment of all stakeholders.
Not only do we pay an additional 1.5 cents per pound for all the tomatoes we purchase from Florida annually, but we worked with the CIW to develop a 'Code of Conduct', designed to improve working conditions and give harvesters opportunity to advance beyond the field.