Wendy's boycott. (photo: allianceforfairfood.org)
01 November 16
One of the largest fast food companies in the United States, Wendy's, has refused to sign on to "fair food" protocols.
armworkers, food justice activists and other supporters protested Sunday against U.S. fast food giant Wendy’s in Washington, D.C., calling for a nationwide boycott of the company until it agrees to clean up its act when it comes to food sourcing and workers’ rights.
Organizers behind Sunday’s rally, part of the “Behind the Braids” campaign launched by farmworkers earlier this year, said the protest was aimed at calling attention to Wendy’s refusal to join the Fair Food program.
“Wendy's is the fifth largest fast food corporation in the United States,” states Sarah Vazquez, a member of the organization DC Fair Food. “The other four largest food corporations Burger King, Taco Bell, McDonalds and Subway, have already joined the Fair Food program."
The Fair Food Program was created by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and is a partnership between farmworkers, tomato growers, and 14 major food retailers aimed at monitoring the workplaces. Participating retailers agree to purchase exclusively from suppliers who abide by a worker-driven Code of Conduct, which includes a zero-tolerance policy for child labour, forced labour and sexual harassment.
Wendy’s, however, has refused to get on board.
“They've actually begun to source their tomatoes from Mexico and from a location actually that has been discovered to have a case of modern day slavery, in 2013,” said Vazquez. “So now they've now sourced their tomatoes from a location that continues to have human rights abuses and are using a subpar Code of Conduct rather than join the Fair Food Program."
The website Boycott Wendy’s argues that a boycott of the fast food giant is called for because Wendy’s has “abandoned the Florida tomato industry,” prioritized public relations over human rights and turned a profit off the poor wages and poverty of farmworkers.