Driscoll’s Responds to Consumer Concern Over Farmworker Dispute
After Fair World Project (FWP) sent a letter to Driscoll’s signed by nearly 10,000 consumers supporting farmworkers involved in a labor dispute at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Washington, Driscoll’s, a partner of Sakuma Brothers, invited FWP and Familias Unidos Por la Justica, the independent farmworkers union, to a meeting. Driscoll’s affirmed their commitment to freedom of association, and FWP, Driscoll’s and farmworker leaders will continue to monitor the situation on the farm until there is evidence that various issues such as discrimination, low wages and ignoring the union have been resolved.
Some Relief for Farmworkers in Mexico; Corporations Still Not Held Accountable
Thousands of farmworkers in San Quintin, Mexico went on strike in March of 2015, demanding better working conditions and wages equivalent to $13 per day. This is an area of Mexico that exports vast amounts of produce like strawberries and tomatoes to the United States, an area which was in fact developed for that very reason. The dispute turned violent at times. In a breakthrough in May, however, the Mexican government agreed to subsidize the wages of farmworkers, bringing some relief, but unfortunately allowing corporate buyers to escape accountability. The deal also guarantees pensions and health care, but does not guarantee a healthy workplace.
The Children’s Place Makes Additional Contribution to Rana Plaza
After two years of campaigning by labor rights organizations and concerned citizens, The Children’s Place announced on the second anniversary of the devastating factory collapse that killed 1,100 people and injured thousands more that they would contribute an additional $2 million to the victim compensation fund, bringing the fund to within $3 million of the total needed. Less than two months later, this gap was closed and the fund’s goal was reached. The move was a big win for campaigners who persevered in pressuring brands like The Children’s Place, and it was good news for victims of the disaster and their families who had been waiting uncertainly for two years.
World Expo in Milan Proceeds Under Criticism
World Expo 2015 opened in Milan in May for a six-month run and was expected to attract 20 million visitors. The theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Protestors in Milan, as well as global organizations like Via Campesina and Slow Food, criticized the corporate takeover of the Expo, citing the prominent sponsorship of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola as two examples which reflect the corporate takeover of the global food system. A “People’s Expo” held in conjunction in June attempted to find real and democratic solutions to feeding the world.
El Salvador Challenges Trade Rules
Despite threats of sanctions under international trade rules, El Salvador has taken bold steps to protect its citizens and environment. El Salvador has favored local farmers in its rewarding of seed contracts through its Family Agriculture Program. In 2015, almost half of the seeds provided through this program will be grown by domestic cooperatives, despite protests by seed companies that the country is in violation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). El Salvador has also, in an attempt to protect its waters, denied a permit to mine gold requested by an Australian company that is now suing the government.
Regeneration International Convenes in Costa Rica
Costa Rica played host to an international gathering of farmers, scientists, NGOs and fair trade companies to create a global effort to address the intersection of climate change, regenerative agriculture and community-focused farming. Fair World Project participated in the event, sharing practical and policy recommendations to address climate change by safeguarding and supporting small-scale farmers. Read more about the event at http://www.tinyurl.com/nha7j6c.
True Cost: A Film about the Clothes We Wear
True Cost is a feature film that tells the story of clothing. It is about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the related human and environmental costs have been growing dramatically. True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider who really pays the price for our clothing. The film is now being shown in cities around the world and features interviews with Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva. Watch the trailer and download the entire film at http://www.truecostmovie.com.