Responding to an escalating campaign waged by students on campuses across the country, Aramark agreed to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to directly improve farmworker wages and working conditions in the tomato fields of Florida. The agreement comes a year into the Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA)'s “Dine with Dignity” campaign, which calls on major foodservice providers to take responsibility for the human rights crisis and grinding poverty faced by workers in their tomato supply chains. SFA's Dine with Dignity campaign has also helped to usher in groundbreaking agreements between the CIW and Bon Appetit Management Company and Compass Group. With the ascension of Aramark, Sodexo now stands as the only major foodservice provider to not yet join this rising tide of social responsibility.
“This victory is a testament to the power we have as students and young people standing together with farmworkers,” says Richard Blake, Student/Farmworker Alliance member at the University of Florida. “The agreement comes in the wake of several successful campus campaigns resulting in Student Senate resolutions calling on Aramark to work with the CIW, including at UF. Thanks to this movement, Aramark has come to understand that the voice and participation of farmworkers themselves are necessary and central components of any real change in the agricultural industry. Sodexo should take note, as all eyes are on them now.”