I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of pride in 2009 when we signed our groundbreaking agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). Compass Group was the nation’s first food service company to agree to pay an additional premium per pound for all the tomatoes purchased from Florida annually, with a portion of the money being passed from the supplier directly to the workers. The agreement helps ensure humane labor standards and a fair wage for the harvesters. In addition, there is also a code of conduct put in place where workers can voice concerns about safety and working conditions without fear of retaliation.
During the past decade, we’ve been able to use our scale as the largest global foodservice company to favorably influence the food industry to do the right thing. Other large food companies have since signed on and are part of the Fair Food program. We are overjoyed when our industry can come together and make a positive impact on society.
In 2019, Compass doubled the Fair Food purchases within our partnership with the CIW to 8.7 million pounds – an impressive 70 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Doing More to Raise Awareness
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to lose sight of how much labor goes into putting fresh, nutritious food on our plates. Most consumers are surprised to learn 85% of the fruits and vegetables we eat are picked by hand.
As part of Farmworker Awareness Week, which is March 22-28, we will share our fair food commitment on every touchpoint possible. We want our clients, customers, and associates to know that simply by being part of Compass Group; you are supporting the fair treatment of farmworkers.
To celebrate the people behind the food, this campaign will feature the men and women we met working in the fields in Immokalee. What a powerful way to share their story! We want to help make farm work less dangerous, more respected, and the term “farm-to-table” to mean safety and dignity for all who work to feed us.
Follow the conversation and progress on social media with #iCareAboutFair.