Across Vermont’s rolling hills and pastoral landscapes, a broad-based movement, led by dairy farmworkers themselves, has been steadily building for years to confront egregious human rights abuses, including dangerous working conditions, no time off and substandard housing.
Dubbed Milk with Dignity, Vermont dairy workers are forging a solution, modeled on key concepts of the CIW’s Fair Food Program, to harness the market power of major retailers to enforce a set of worker-designed human rights standards and increase pay at dairy farms across The Green Mountain State.
For several years, workers have sought to inform Ben and Jerry’s about human rights violations in its supply chain and call on the ice cream giant to become the first company to join the Milk with Dignity Program. Yet, Ben and Jerry’s has failed to make a commitment to dairy workers rights, instead promoting their “Caring Dairy” initiative, a farmer self-monitoring program that denies farmworkers a real voice in the decisions that affect their lives.
Demonstrating the power of the growing grassroots movement to call on Ben and Jerry’s to commit to Milk with Dignity, Migrant Justice is planning a National Day of Action on June 20th at Ben and Jerry’s scoop shops nationwide.
In the words of farmworker leader Enrique Balcazar:
"Join us for a national day of action on June 20th calling on Ben & Jerry's to take responsibility for these conditions in their supply chain. They've stood up to protect cows and chickens but not farmworkers! We need Milk with Dignity!"
Will you join them and help ensure dairy farmworkers win the dignity and respect they deserve?
Get in on the action by planning a letter delegation or a solidarity action at your local Ben and Jerry’s! For action planning resources, head to the Migrant Justice site or contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 802-540-8370.
Get up! Get Down! Milk with Dignity's Comin' to Town!