Am I having a Whopper for dinner?

May 23, 2008

No, that’s gross, but I could if I wanted to, because Burger King has stepped up and negotiated with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to pay a 1.5 cent increase in the per-pound price of tomatoes they buy from Florida farms. I read it in the Herald, but I went to the CIW itself to confirm that this was the result they had hoped for. From the joint press release:

BKC has agreed to pay an additional net penny per pound for Florida tomatoes to increase wages for the Florida farm workers who harvest tomatoes. To encourage grower participation in this increased wage program, BKC will also fund incremental payroll taxes and administrative costs incurred by the growers as a result of their farmworkers’ increased wages, or a total of 1.5 cents per pound of tomatoes.

It gets even better! John Chidsey, BK’s CEO says:

“We apologize for any negative statements about the CIW or its motives previously attributed to BKC or its employees and now realize that those statements were wrong. Today we turn a new page in our relationship and begin a new chapter of real progress for Florida farmworkers.

For more than 50 years, BKC has been a proud purchaser and supporter of the Florida tomato industry. However, if the Florida tomato industry is to be sustainable long-term, it must become more socially responsible. We, along with other industry leaders, recognize that the Florida tomato harvesters are in need of better wages, working conditions and respect for the hard work they do. And we look forward to working with the CIW in the pursuit of these necessary improvements. We also encourage other purchasers and growers of Florida tomatoes to engage in dialogue with the CIW in support of driving industry-wide socially responsible change.”

Damn straight. It’s about time. Onwards.

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2 Responses to “Am I having a Whopper for dinner?”

  1. Bradley Says:

    This is great news– particularly for the CIW, but also for me. I wound up violating my boycott of Burger King this morning when, for the sake of convenience, I bought a small Diet Coke there. I feel like the universe has let me off the hook…


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