Raising the price of tomatoes by 1 cent a pound would change farmworkers’ lives. Trader Joe’s said no.
But first, a none-too-subtle word from our sponsor
Would you pay one penny more per pound to buy a tomato if you knew that it would go a long way toward alleviating labor abuse in the fields?
When asked that question, not a single supermarket chain in the country, with the notable exception of Whole Foods Market, said yes.
No grocery giant has a legitimate excuse to pinch that extra penny, but of all the holdouts, the most perplexing is Trader Joe’s, which promotes itself as a cheerful bastion of all things ethical.
A penny-a-pound wage increase might seem insignificant, but if you harvest Florida Tomatoes, it’s the difference between $50 a day and $80—the difference between a wage that doesn’t allow you to properly feed and shelter your family and a livable, albeit paltry, income.