Saturday, July 12, 2008

Death of 17-year-old pregnant farm worker incites campaign against Trader Joe's.

Merced Farm Labor was subcontracted by West Coast Grape Farming, whose president, Fred Franzia, also owns Bronco Winery, makers of Charles Shaw wine — also known as Trader Joe's cheap and wildly popular "Two-Buck Chuck." Approximately 72 million bottles of the $2 wine are sold each year, exclusively at Trader Joe's.

United Farm Workers, responding to [Maria Isabel Vasquez] Jimenez's death, have asked supporters to fire off letters to Trader Joe's requesting the company "implement a corporate policy to ensure that [its] suppliers are not violating the law by failing to provide basic protections such as cold water, shade, and clean bathrooms."


More at The Daily Kos.

The inhumane treatment of farm workers in California (and elsewhere in the US) is a pervasive human rights issue that many seem to turn a blind eye to in favor of low produce prices. It's all about the money, baby. But it is exactly large, successful, purportedly more "progressive" groceries -- with a high percentage of well-to-do and socially-conscious clientele -- like Trader Joe's who can make a difference by demanding suppliers treat their employees humanely.

I really like Trader Joe's. An early purveyor of natural, organic, and vegetarian foods, touted as a chain of groceries privately-owned by one family, and a company that pays a competetive wage to their employees, I rejoiced when one opened in my neighborhood. I also love myself some Two-Buck Chuck. But I won't be buying it until they take some responsibility for the actions of their suppliers. And while they're at it, why not be a little more forthcoming about their "organic" dairy products? I've stopped buying those products too.

While I understand it's impossible to monitor as socially conscious every little morsel of food one gets from a grocer, it's important to bring this kind of gross negligence and disregard for human life to light. Please send a fax to Trader Joe's, demanding that they use their buying clout to help improve their suppliers' treatment of farm workers, here.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Craig Knaak said...

That's the beauty of the internet- things can't been hidden anymore. Except for US government knowledge of alien UFO's of course, ;), Or Hitlers like Ahmadinejad, or general strange-folk like Craig Knaak.

There's all of this talk about 2012 and the "Apocalypse" among Michael Tsarion types.. the definition of that worlds includes "revealing new knowledge", which seemingly is already the case. The "Apocalypse" IS the internet, I would suggest.
We are surrounded by destruction of the bureaucracy, of bottlenecks of culture, etc...

tis, tis

July 13, 2008 at 8:24:00 AM PDT  
Blogger saudade said...

That's actually quite an interesting theory, Craig. Trevor is also intrigued by the whole 2012 phenomenon, and he is also of the mindset that this "Apocalypse" that is spoken of isn't one of the traditionally thought negative variety, and may just be a huge shift in human culture.

July 13, 2008 at 9:52:00 AM PDT  

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