From farm to grocery—how does it all happen?
Farmers—Most are migrant workers, but not all. In Immokalee most are from Latin America or Haiti. Companies are REQUIRED BY LAW to hire them through H2A visas, but THEY DON’T HAVE RIGHTS. Even worse is when farm companies apparently go to other countries and “recruit” people—which means there is NO RECORD of anything. If they get injured or even disappear. Apparently this is a bit less common nowadays—from what we know. I was really sad to learn that human trafficking, sex trafficking, abuses, and wage theft ARE COMMON in the farm world. It is not always farm owners.
Crew Members—From my trip, many farm owners said most of the shady stuff happens by crew members. They supervise farmers everyday and responsible for transporting people to work, giving them daily tasks and paying them. There are many times that farmers get taken to work somewhere they didn’t know—end up doing forced labor or human trafficked. Pocket farmers wages—wage theft. And It gets worse as you can imagine. In 2017, 80% of women farmworkers reported being sexually assaulted or harassed (CIW, 2017) Lastly, farmworkers are 7 times more likely to die than workers in private industry (USDA, 2013).
“El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido” Translation: With Everyone United, We Will Never be Defeated.
Honestly anything is possible even when it seems impossible. With NO MONEY from the GOVERNMENT and just a few farmers, the Fair Food Program was created and now farmers are able to demand some rights and INSPIRE CHANGE within their jobs and big corporations.
Stay tuned for my next blog post on “Where to Stop Buying Foods"