Set in Immokalee, Florida, Eva Longoria, with the help of the voice of Forest Whitaker, put together a moving tale of the slave labor exploited in the picking of our fruits and vegetables. It's a story of how the giant grocery stores literally mandate these deplorable labor conditions and become the biggest profiteers of slave labor. The reason for the fight? A mere 1¢ per pound price increase on tomatoes would double the meager earnings of these workers. Yet, some stores won't budge and come to the table with humanitarian groups advocating for the migrant farm worker.
The movement, known as The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) Fair Food Program is a unique partnership among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for the workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms. It harnesses the power of consumer demand to give farmworkers a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, and to eliminate the longstanding abuses that have plagued agriculture for generations.
I'm sure most of us (or at least those visiting this site) understand the exploitation by American corporations and the workers who suffer because of their greed (aka "Right to Work" states). I was particularly moved by the squalid living and working conditions of these workers and the tenuous existence of a modern-day farm owner. But the most appalling aspect of this tale was the revelation of the smallest sacrifice that these billionaire owners refuse to concede to these poor slaves who work their fingers to the bone daily. These are the companies that claim to have closely held religious beliefs, yet they ignore Matthew 19:23-30 and refuse to share a penny of their obscene wealth.
Ed Crenshaw, the CEO of Publix (the only chain that won't meet with the CIW) is a huge donor to heavily Baptist groups including Baylor University. Yet he cares not one shred for the thousands of workers that make him such a hefty profit. Food Chains explains that the amount of money, $1 million, would be a pittance of Publix's annual revenue of $2 billion. To put this in perspective, even Walmart has agreed to paying this paltry increase in produce costs. Watching this documentary will make you think twice before shopping at a store that supports the perpetuation of slavery in the twenty-first century.