Perhaps in driving by a billboard or turning on your TV recently you’ve seen Wendy’s brand new advertising campaign, “Where’s the beef?” Focused on the sourcing of their beef, Wendy’s seeks to appear wholesome sending a message to consumers that they really care about where their food comes from — all the while refusing to respect the human rights of farmworkers in their supply chain.
If Wendy’s thinks that they can sell such an image to consumers without committing to strengthening and expanding the rights of the CIW’s Fair Food Program, they are not only avoiding the reality that thousands of consumers have already pledged to Boycott Wendy's — but they’re also ignoring history. Since the beginning of the CIW's Campaign for Fair Food — back in the days before Taco Bell had joined the Fair Food Program — consumers have followed farmworkers’ leadership in revealing the truth behind corporations’ manicured profiles. Through education and action, the CIW and allies have pulled back the curtain and, in doing so, brought 14 corporations to partnership in transforming conditions in the tomato fields of Florida, in six northern states, and now in strawberry and pepper fields as well.
As the national ally movement to the CIW responds to the news that Wendy’s purchases from a grower who was the subject of a major slavery prosecution in 2013, Wendy’s advertising about their “All-American” beef falls terribly flat. For a fascinating, in-depth look at how Wendy’s marketing scheme — and misestimation of consumer agency — relates to the CIW’s history with Taco Bell and other corporations, head over to the CIW site. And if you’re still looking for a way to take action this April check out the Month of Action web page!