As part of our focus on farmworker rights, Bon Appétit Management Company is proud to partner with Student Action with Farmworkers for the 13th annual National Farmworker Awareness Week (NFAW). Running from March 25 – March 31 (César Chávez’s birthday), NFAW aims to raise awareness about the conditions of the men, women, and children who harvest our food and to bring attention to their efforts to secure fair wages and benefits, and to form and join unions.
Bon Appétit teams at universities and corporations around the country will be setting up information tables and banners, as well as screening videos from TEDxFruitvale (the farm-labor conference our Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation sponsored in 2011). Some accounts will also be showing The Harvest, a powerful documentary about the more than 400,000 children who labor in America’s fields. Guests at some locations will be able to contribute a collective collage project about why they support farmworker rights.
Bon Appétit became formally involved in farmworker justice in 2009, when we worked with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to frame acceptable working conditions for Florida tomato pickers and to draft a strict Code of Conduct to enforce those conditions at growers. Wanting to do more, the Foundation partnered with United Farmworkers of America, with support from Oxfam America, to jointly author a groundbreaking report on farmworker issues that was released in March 2011. The Inventory of Farmworker Issues and Protections in the United States compiled and analyzed data from multiple federal, state, and private sources to give the most comprehensive picture yet of the reality faced by America’s least-valued but critically important workforce. Some of the key findings from the Inventory are presented in this slideshow created by Foundation West Coast Fellow Vera Chang, which was shown at TEDxFruitvale last year.