Rev. Russell L Meyer, Executive Director “It is not acceptable to us as a family owned business that agricultural workers have any less rights than folks working in white collar jobs,” said Jon Esformes, operating partner and chief marketing officer of Pacific Tomato Growers. Calling for a public conversation on social responsibility for farmworkers in the field, Esformes joined with Lucas Benítez, Co-Director of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, in […]

Senator Sanders & Eric Schlosser Confront Immokalee Slavery On Friday, January 18, 2008, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont visited Immokalee along with best-selling author Eric Schlosser.  Visiting with the farmworker community just one day after a federal grand jury indicted six people in Immokalee for their part in what US Attorney Doug Malloy called “Slavery, plain and simple,” Senator Sanders called for congressional hearings “so that the American people […]

Religious Community Letter to Governor Crist In March 2009, Together with Southwest Florida Interfaith Action, the National Farmworker Ministry of Florida and the PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food, the Florida Council of Churches successfully called on Gov. Crist to meet with the CIW to discuss ways to end slavery in Florida’s fields and urge the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange to stop blocking improvements for farmworkers. Governor Crist’s support for the […]

On the Occasion of the Groundbreaking Agreement between the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Pacific Tomato Growers “Today we celebrate the groundbreaking agreement between the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and Pacific Tomato Growers. We are grateful to witness this display of social responsibility. This agreement will bring about basic rights for farmworkers. We hope and pray that the spirit of collaboration exhibited by the CIW and Pacific Tomato Growers […]

In cooperation with Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, houses of worship are invited to participate in a project to show gratitude to farmworkers at Thanksgiving and to encourage Publix to join the penny per pound campaign. Farmworkers in the fields are family, too. involves filling penny folders with a month of pennies, bible studies and prayer guides. The concept is simple: educate consumers about […]

Lectionary reflection II Corinthians 5:16-21 Lent 4 Year C Jean Cooley, Co-pastor Westminster Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, FL   In many ways Paul’s great discourse on Christ’s gift of the ministry of reconciliation gets to the heart of what it means for me to be a Christian. Paul affirms that those that “are in Christ” see reality in a new way. No longer do they see reality through the values and […]

A few weeks back I had a to-do list a mile long that required I drive all over Miami. Instead of making the adventure alone I asked one of the retired members of my congregation to join along for the ride. She gladly accepted and drove around in the Miami heat with me all day. When I dropped her off at home she wouldn’t let me leave until she dug […]

With the the 2010 tomato season just around the corner, momentum for the Campaign for Fair Food and its industry-changing standards for real social accountability just keeps growing! Today, October 21, 2010, the CIW and Immokalee-based Six L’s made it official: Florida’s largest tomato grower is joining the Fair Food program. Six L’s has agreed to pass on the penny-per-pound and to adopt the Code of Conduct at the heart […]

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light […]