Bon Appetit Management, which runs the food service at over 400 college campuses and cafes in addition to Wesleyan, has threatened to boycott the Immokalee Florida tomato harvesting industry until workers rights are defended. According to an article in the Washington Post, workers have been treated under conditions similar to slavery. In 2008, six people were accused of imprisoning one dozen farmworkers in boxes, trucks and shacks. The workers were apparently then chained, physically abused and forced to work.
Bon Appetit clearly means business:
Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Molloy called it “slavery, plain and simple.”
The growers “can do the right thing, and our five million pounds of business can go to them,” said Fedele Bauccio, Bon Appetit’s chief executive. “Or they can let the tomatoes rot in the fields.”
Bon Appetit’s decision is the latest salvo on a new front of the sustainable-food wars: social justice. While most consumers associate sustainability with local or organic food, companies such as Bon Appetit, a division of the Compass Group, and Whole Foods Market are starting to define the concept more broadly.
Read the full article here.