Recipe for Change campaign targets forced labor on US tomato fields
Over the past 15 years more than 1,000 people have been freed from forced labor in Florida's tomato fields, leading Chief assistant US attorney Douglas Molloy to call the state's tomato industry "ground zero for modern-day slavery."
In response, the faith-based human rights organization International Justice Mission (IJM) launched this summer the Recipe for Change campaign to end forced labor on tomato fields in the US state of Florida.
The campaign calls on consumers to sign a petition asking the CEOs of major supermarket chains including Publix, Ahold and Kroger to endorse the Fair Food Program. Developed by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a community-based organization of agricultural workers, the Fair Food Program ensures humane working conditions by upholding a zero tolerance policy for slavery, child labor and serious sexual harassment on Florida's tomato farms.
Recipe for Change also asks consumers to petition local supermarkets in their communities.
The petition reads: "As a concerned consumer, I respectfully urge your company to sign a Fair Food agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. In taking this stand against abusive agricultural practices, including modern-day slavery, you will be joining major fast-food companies McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and Yum Brands, as well as foodservice providers Aramark, Sodexo, Compass Group and Bon Appetit Management Company, in addition to supermarket chains Whole Foods and Trader Joe's."
Food bloggers around the world lent their support on July 24th by posting tomato recipes and encouraging their readers to sign the Recipe for Change petition; New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman also contributed a recipe to the cause.
IJM's Justice Campaigns advocate for policies that will lead to the abolition of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. The organization's president, Gary Haugen, was named a 2012 Hero on the US State Department's recent Trafficking in Person's report, for his leadership in the fight against human trafficking.