On Thursday, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers announced it had signed a Fair Food Agreement with Trader Joe’s, a significant step forward its efforts to bring fairness and accountability to the food industry. “We are truly happy today to welcome Trader Joe’s aboard the Fair Food Program,” CIW’s Gerardo Reyes said in a joint statement issued by CIW and Trader Joe’s. “Trader Joe’s is cherished by its customers for a number of reasons, but high on that list is the company’s commitment to ethical purchasing practices.”
The same statement, which the company has posted as a letter to customers on its website, hails Fair Food as “a groundbreaking approach to social responsibility in the U.S. produce industry that combines the Fair Food Code of Conduct…with a small price premium to help improve harvesters’ wages.” Trader Joe’s did not respond to a request for further comment.
But it wasn’t long ago that activists were carrying “Traitor Joe’s” banners, and Trader Joe’s was condemning Fair Food Agreements as “overreaching, ambiguous, and improper.”