Wendy’s refuses to join the Fair Food Program to ensure slavery is not in its supply chain

WalkFree.org
http://www.walkfree.org/
Sept 29, 2013

Antonio Martinez stood in the hot sun, exhausted from a cross-country journey, and waited. Just 21 years old, he had travelled from Mexico to the U.S. with the promise of a well-paid construction job in California. But now he stood in a field in central Florida, listening to one man pay another man $500 to own him. “I realized I had been sold like an animal without any compassion.”- CNN Freedom Project (1)

Just a few years ago, stories like Antonio’s were frighteningly common. The situation in the U.S. tomato industry was so bad that one federal prosecutor called Florida “Ground-zero for modern slavery”. (2)

Now is the part of the message we rarely get to write in the fight against modern slavery – we’re on the verge of eliminating slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. Forever.

That’s because the Fair Food Program has made historic progress in tackling forced labour and exploitation on Florida’s tomato farms. A massive 90% of growers have already joined the Fair Food Program, an initiative with a proven track record in fighting modern slavery. And four of the 5 biggest U.S. fast food giants have signed the Fair Food Agreement, investing in the fight for a slavery-free agricultural industry.

But one company stands in the way of progress: Wendy’s refuses to join the Fair Food Program to ensure slavery is not in its supply chain. If Wendy’s follows the lead of McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell, their immense purchasing power could help bring the last 10% of farms to the table and ensure the tomato industry never sees another case of modern slavery.

Call on Wendy’s – the final fast food hold-out – to help end slavery forever in Florida’s tomato fields.

By taking action today, you could be part of history. Wendy’s is one of the last obstacles in this battle against modern slavery – and it’s a battle we can win. If the last few remaining growers sign up we can keep Florida’s tomato fields slavery-free.

Antonio’s story is a chilling example of the horrors of modern slavery. Thankfully, the Fair Food Program is transforming the tomato fields of Florida with a zero-tolerance approach to forced labour. The program’s success has been recognised by human rights observers from the United Nations to the White House.

There’s even more good news – the CEO of Wendy’s previously headed up Taco Bell where he signed that fast food giant onto the Fair Food Agreement. He knows the program can make a difference in the fight against modern slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

Ask Wendy’s CEO to sign the Fair Food Agreement now and help put an end to modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields.

With their major competitors already on board, Wendy’s is feeling the pressure – at this stage they’re ready to listen to their customers. We’re at a critical moment and our movement can make the difference.

We’re so close to eliminating slavery in Florida’s fields and think Wendy’s is at a tipping point. We need as many people to take action in the next few days as possible – once you’ve sent a message to Wendy’s please forward this on to 3 friends asking them to do the same.

Thanks for your support,

Debra, Nick, Mika, Jayde, Mich, Sarah, Kamini, Kate, Jess & the Walk Free team

TAKE ACTION: http://tinyurl.com/m23f374

Notes:

1 http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/21/your-tomato-possible-ties-to-slavery/
2 http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s/2009/03/politics-of-the-plate-the-price-of-tomatoes

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