Last month at a White House forum on human trafficking, the Florida-based Fair Food Program was celebrated as “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in addressing what has been an intractable problem around the world: modern-day slavery. Two weeks later, the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights lauded the same group at a press conference in Washington.
Yet despite the constant recognition of this unique partnership among farmworkers, growers, corporate food giants and consumers as the model for social responsibility in the American produce industry, Publix is soon to complete its fourth year of refusing to join. As a new Publix store opens this weekend in Vero Beach, a group of community leaders and clergy have been calling the company’s human rights standards into question.
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