Film – Food Chains

The Food Chain Workers Working Group of CFF hosted a briefing on April 24th about the movie Food Chains, in advance of its US premier the following weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival and national release in the fall. Sanjay Rawal, the film’s director, was joined by the film’s producer, two members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and Judge Laura Safer Espinoza, Executive Director of the Fair Food Standards Council.  This meeting also included practitioners working on labor issues in addition to CFF members.

Food Chains briefing at North Star Fund
Sanjay Rawal speaks at the briefing

Executive produced by Eva Longoria, this hard hitting documentary gives pause for thought with every plate of food we eat by exposing the rampant abuse and injustice embedded in America’s agriculture and food production industries. The film sheds light on the wage theft, physical abuse and outright slavery that constitutes everyday life for thousands of America’s (mostly Latino) farm workers, and gives voice to those fighting to change these practices and bring justice to the table.

There is more interest in food in the United States today than at any time in our history. Yet, there is very little interest in the hands that pick our food – the hundreds of thousands of people to whom we are all connected through our purchases at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and restaurants.

Food Chains explores critical human rights issues in American agriculture from wage theft to modern-day slavery and exposes the powers that perpetuate these un-American violations of human dignity. The film stars dozens of farmworkers as well as Eva Longoria (Executive Producer), Dolores Huerta, Eric Schlosser, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Barry Estabrook, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

Watch the film’s teaser below

About the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW):

CIW is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of corporate social responsibility, community organizing, and sustainable food.  The CIW is also a leader in the growing movement to end human trafficking due to its groundbreaking work to combat modern-day slavery and other labor abuses common in agriculture.

The CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food is a groundbreaking endeavor to educate consumers on the issue of farm labor exploitation – both its causes and solutions. The Campaign for Fair Food also forges alliances between farmworkers and consumers to pressure major corporate buyers to help end that exploitation.

Through the Fair Food Program, these buyers pay an additional penny per pound of tomatoes to increase worker wages and require farms that grow their tomatoes to adhere to a human-rights-based Code of Conduct. Not only does the FFP make a substantial difference for workers’ wages — already, $11 million has been paid into the Program since its inception— but it transforms the labor environment in Florida’s fields into a workplace rooted in mutual respect and basic dignity for farmworkers.


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