Tomato Update: Florida’s Largest Tomato Grower Joins Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program

Photograph by Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Photograph by Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Just a little over a week after Pacific Tomato Growers, one of the top five tomato producers in Florida, came aboard the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food effort (see previous post), the state’s largest producer has followed suit. Here is the press release:

With the the 2010 tomato season just around the corner, momentum for the Campaign for Fair Food and its industry-changing standards for real social accountability just keeps growing!

Today, the CIW and Immokalee-based Six L’s made it official: Florida’s largest tomato grower is joining the Fair Food program.

Six L’s has agreed to pass on the penny-per-pound and to adopt the Code of Conduct at the heart of the campaign, including a cooperative complaint resolution system, a participatory health and safety program, and a worker-to-worker education process aimed at insuring that farmworkers themselves are active participants in the social responsibility efforts.

Gerardo Reyes of the CIW said: “With this news, we take one giant step closer to a world where farmworkers and growers can work together in genuine partnership for an industry that we can all be proud of — an industry that starts with fair wages and modern working conditions in the fields. When that new industry becomes a reality, we will be able to stand with our employers and proclaim that, together, we produce the best, and fairest, tomatoes in the market.”

Kent Shoemaker, CEO of Six L’s, said: “The workers of our company are the foundation of our success. We have a long tradition of mutual respect. We look forward to building upon this foundation with this new initiative.”

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