Wendy’s has chosen public relations over human rights…
The old fashion fast-food chain is embracing its old fashioned economic interests by refusing to protect farmworkers through the Fair Food Program (FFP) administered by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The Florida based organization has made incredible strides towards a more dignified and humane food system. The Fair Food Program is at the intersection of the Fair Food Code of Conduct , market enforcement, local, state and national regulations, education, and auditing. The FFP creates a partnership between farmworkers, growers, and participating retail buyers to enforce fair wages, worker safety, and other basic protections for farmworkers through a three-pronged model:
- worker-to-worker education sessions about worker rights that are held on the farm and on the clock,
- it adds a premium to the price of tomatoes that becomes a direct bonus for the tomato pickers,
- it enlists the help of the third-party Fair Food Standards Council, which conducts regular audits and carries out ongoing complaint investigation and resolution.
N.C. F.I.E.L.D. has accepted this social responsibility of sustainability, equality + equity, and justice. We encourage you to join us as we fight for basic human rights! Learn more about the Fair Food Program and BOYCOTT WENDYS
Organizational Endorsement Letter
Wendy’s has refused to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program (FFP) and do its part to protect the human rights of farmworkers in its supply chain. The Fair Food Program has been called “one of the greatest human rights success stories of our day” in the Washington Post and “the best workplace monitoring program in the U.S.” on the front page of the New York Times. The FFP guarantees never-before-seen rights for tens of thousands of farmworkers in fields along the East Coast, including rights to shade and rest breaks from their grueling work, the right to speak up about abuse without fear of retribution, and zero tolerance for sexual assault and modern slavery. Since 2011, participating buyers have paid a Fair Food premium that has provided more than $20 million in bonuses to farmworkers, constituting the first real pay increase for workers in over 30 years.
Of the five largest fast-food companies, Wendy’s is the only one not participating in the FFP. Rather, Wendy’s has opted to profit from farmworker poverty and abuse while propping up an alternative market outside the FFP for less reputable growers. Rather than participate in what has been called the “best workplace monitoring program in the U.S.,” Wendy’s ran away from their responsibility by switching their tomato purchasing from Florida to Mexico, abandoning the Florida tomato growers who are doing the right thing. When the CIW and consumer allies began to demand that Wendy’s stop doing business with the abuse-ridden Mexican agricultural industry, Wendy’s again shifted its purchases, this time purchasing from greenhouses in the U.S. and Canada. However, consumers know that greenhouses do not equal better working conditions for farmworkers and that the best way to end abuse in Wendy’s supply chain is to join the Fair Food Program.
Wendy’s latest corporate code of conduct for its suppliers, which took effect in January 2016, is a perfect
example of the failed, corporate-controlled approach to social responsibility. From its vague
“expectations” for ethical behavior from its suppliers to its toothless approach to consequences for
suppliers who fail to meet those expectations, Wendy’s response simply does not measure up to the
Fair Food Program.
In the face of Wendy’s failure to do the right thing, we pledge to boycott Wendy’s until the world’s
third-largest hamburger chain commits to protect the human rights of the farmworkers who make
their profits possible by joining the Fair Food Program.