by intern Lila Wilmerding
This morning foodservice corporation Aramark signed a significant agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). In a joint statement, the two parties announced that Aramark has decided to “pay a 1.5-cent premium for every pound of tomatoes picked, with the premium to be distributed directly to harvesters.” In combination with other conditions of the agreement, this is a great step towards fairer wages and labor conditions on US farms.
Aramark’s pledge is the eighth agreement that has resulted from the Student Farmworker Alliance’s “Dine with Dignity” campaign. Sodexo is the only major food service provider yet to sign. Now that the four biggest fast-food companies and two biggest food service companies have made agreements with the CIW, supermarkets will hopefully be the next to follow suit.
The agreement comes at an exciting time for the CIW, as their Farmworker Freedom March (a 22-mile march between Tampa and Lakeland, FL from April 16-18) is quickly approaching.