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Thanks to all of those of you who wrote letters to Florida Governor Charlie Crist, urging him to acknowledge the slave labor conditions in Immokalee Florida.

After several months of resistance, and after the past week’s push (visits by food organization leaders and writers, including SFUSA President Josh Viertel; political theatre and press conference on the steps of the capitol in Talahassee), Gov. Crist has finally agreed to take a meeting with the CIW on March 25th.

From The News-Press: “What’s most important is what happens after the meeting,” worker Leonel Perez said. “We hope the governor can set the record straight that not a single case of slavery is acceptable in the 21st century – period – and that he can help us move the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange out of the way of our agreements with food industry leaders.”

Josh Viertel, president of New York-based Slow Food USA and part of a group of food advocates who visited Immokaee earlier this month, agrees. “We should be eating food with a story behind it that doesn’t make us lose our appetite,” Viertel said.

Stay tuned at CIW’s website for breaking news and reports, as well as comprehensive coverage of Josh’s visit last week and photos (everything from abysmal worker housing to shots of the tomato fields to pics of the delegation hearing about the issues from CIW members).

(photo by Jacques-Jean Tiziou)