The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ “Proven Model” for Ending Sexual Harassment and Empowering Workers

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No one from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers appears on Billboard’s Hot 100 or stars in an eagerly-anticipated Hollywood blockbuster, but each of its members has been fighting against sexual harassment in the workplace and winning for over a decade, Greg Kaufman reported for the Nation in January 2018.

Eighty percent of female farmworkers report having experienced some form of sexual violence on the job.  In 2005, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) decided to combat this crisis with its Fair Food Program in Florida’s tomato growing industry.  The FFP put financial pressure on tomato growers to implement a code of conduct that covered, among other human rights issues, a zero-tolerance policy for sexual misconduct.

If a grower could not or would not completely and fully enforce this code of conduct, the CIW had an agreement with the biggest buyers of tomatoes in Florida’s $600 million tomato industry—including Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, among others—to halt all purchase of that grower’s tomatoes.

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