Next week, farmworkers from Immokalee and allies from the AFF will hit the open road for this fall’s North Carolina Publix Truth Tour! This journey builds on a long, rich history of CIW Truth Tours, in which farmworkers have crossed the country spreading consciousness about the exploitation and poverty behind the food we eat — and inspiring consumer allies to commit to action to be part of the solution.
But on this month's journey to the Tarheel State, CIW will have a different story to share — one of the incredible New Day for human rights that has not only taken root across the Florida tomato industry, but expanded into North Carolina and up through New Jersey this summer, as CIW held worker-to-worker trainings on knowing and protecting farmworkers' rights through the Fair Food Program for the first time. But, as the Fair Food Program has expanded, Publix has not only been unconscionably absent, but has begun to expand their stores in North Carolina without taking responsibility to ensure workers within their supply chain in Florida are being treated with dignity and respect.
Moreover, during Publix’s six-year refusal to support human rights for farmworkers, their major grocery counterparts, including Walmart, Ahold USA (Stop & Shop and Giant), Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market and Whole Foods, have all joined the Fair Food Program. With this portrait of Publix in front of them — despite Publix’s inexhaustible PR investment —North Carolinian consumers have made their message clear: You can’t expand into our neighborhoods without expanding your commitment to human rights. So, on this tour, farmworkers and allies will visit five major NC cities: Asheville, Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Charlotte — speaking truth, connecting and taking action with consumer allies to continue to spread this message across the state.
The tour will be jam-packed with university presentations, church visits and meetings with community groups, but each stop will be anchored by a free screening of "Food Chains" and a protest at a Publix:
Asheville (Oct. 28-Nov.1)
Triangle Area (Nov. 2-4; 8-9)
Charlotte (Nov. 5-7)
As the Fair Food Program becomes stronger and more far-reaching, as more corporations — including Publix’s counterparts — join, and as connections deepen between farmworkers and the people of North Carolina, Publix should know that as long as it continues to evade its responsibility to farmworkers in its supply chain, North Carolinians will continue refusing to welcome Publix as their neighborhood grocery store.
Get ready to follow along CIW’s journey across North Carolina! Spread the word by sharing news of the tour far and wide, and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in joining us along the way.