Chipotle campaign update

June 2009

Since 2006, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Student/Farmworker Alliance, and our allies have been calling on Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill to take concrete steps to address farmworker exploitation and human rights abuses in its tomato supply chain. Chipotle's manifesto, titled “Food With Integrity,” discusses the company's mission to “revolutionize the way America grows and gathers its food” by “working back along the food chain” to protect the environment and farm animals. We urged Chipotle live up to its own philosophy by also guaranteeing safe and dignified conditions for farmworkers.

Since initially reaching out to Chipotle, the CIW has signed agreements with McDonald's, Burger King, Subway, Whole Foods, and Bon Appetit committing those corporations to work with the CIW to improve wages and human rights standards in Florida's tomato fields. While Chipotle has not yet done the same, we have recently moved the company from a position of silence and denial to one where it has taken some positive steps.

As a result of pickets, postcard and letter-writing campaigns, cross-country speaking tours, educational events, street theater, vigils and other actions held by workers and their allies from Immokalee to Denver, Chipotle has announced it will pay a penny more per pound for its tomatoes (to be passed on to the farmworkers) and also took a clear stand against modern-day slavery in the fields after the Navarrete sentencing in federal court in late 2008.

But our work continues. Chipotle has not yet signed an official agreement to work with the CIW and stubbornly resists full cooperation with the CIW on important issues such as verification and transparency of its stated commitments and the right of farmworkers to participate in the protection of their own rights.

Although the Campaign for Fair Food has entered new terrain with a focus on the food service provider and supermarket industries, we call on our allies to remain vigilant toward Chipotle and continue to take action, such as sending in postcards or emails to Chipotle headquarters and organizing your friends and family to do the same. (Contact us today for your free batch of Chipotle postcards.)

For further information and Chipotle campaign updates, visit:

 

PO Box 603, Immokalee, FL 34143 :: (239) 657-8311 :: organize (at) sfalliance.org