The Current

Advocacy News + Updates

Slavery is not just happening overseas. In the past 15 years, over 1,000 people have been freed from slavery in Florida's tomato fields. Many of you have joined in our summer campaign, Recipe for Change, to be part of an existing solution.  As the summer winds down and we approach the end of the campaign, we want to multiply our numbers so the message is loud and clear: We want guaranteed slave–free tomatoes!

On Saturday, September 1—during Labor Day weekend—tomato farmworkers and their allies in Florida are holding events to urge major supermarkets to join the Fair Food Program, which we believe is the very best way to guarantee that tomatoes picked in Florida fields are slave-free. IJM is coming alongside them with the Recipe for Change National Day of Action, and we want you to join us!

You can participate in the Recipe for Change National Day of Action on September 1 by taking action with us in your local communities—by collecting written signatures on a downloaded petition asking major supermarket chains to join the Fair Food Program, ensuring the tomatoes they sell are guaranteed slave-free.

Spread awareness in your community by joining anti-slavery activists around the country.  It’s easy to start planning for the National Day of Action with this checklist:

-        Download the petition* and the petition guide we’ve created with step-by-step guidelines for collecting signatures.

-        RSVP at the Facebook Event page for the Recipe for Change National Day of Action. Share the news that you’re participating and invite your friends and family to do the same!

-        Choose and secure your location(s). Think about a place where there will be plenty of foot traffic, so you can collect as many signatures as possible (like your local farmers’ market or set up your own lemonade stand). Think about the space and materials you need, and find out if you need permission for where you plan to gather signatures. Try to have these details set by August 13.

-        Set a goal for how many people you want to sign the petition. 100? 200? 1,000?! Share your goal with us on the event page and our Recipe for Change Facebook page!

-        Recruit friends and fellow advocates to help you achieve your goal! What about day-of support? (For example, could you ask other booths at the farmers’ market to promote the petition?)

-        Practice your talking points messages (check out our Recipe for Change fact sheet to learn more about the issues). Modify your message so you feel comfortable, then get a friend to practice with you: “Will you join us in calling on Kroger/Publix/Stop & Shop/etc to join the Fair Food Program?” [“What’s that?”] “The Fair Food Program is an initiative designed to secure just working conditions and ensure a zero tolerance for slavery exists in our U.S. off-season tomato industry…”

-        Ask IJM if you have any questions or need help getting started! Contact International Justice Mission at 703.465.5495 or email [email protected]

-        After the National Day of Action, deliver your petition to your local grocery store, showing them that their community wants their supermarket chain to join the Fair Food Program. (Only Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have signed on so far.) Also, send us a copy of the signatures you collect so we can deliver all of the petitions collected around the country to the corporate headquarters of Ahold (parent company of Giant Food and other major chains), Publix, and Kroger (parent company of Ralph’s and other major chains)! Take a candid photo of this action with your phone, and share it with us on Twitter @IJMCampaigns, or our Recipe for Change Facebook page! We’d love to see it!

*You don’t have to wait until the National Day of Action to start collecting signatures. You can get started today!

Right now, more than 2,500 people have written letters to the executives at Kroger, Publix, and Ahold, asking them to join the Fair Food Program. Our goal is to collect 15,000 signatures by Labor Day—Monday, September 3. We’ll keep the Recipe for Change Facebook page updated weekly throughout August as those numbers climb! With your help, we know they will – and by Labor Day, we want 15,000 voices raised, asking for guaranteed slave-free tomatoes.  

We can’t wait for you to join us on September 1!

Want to do something right now while at your computer? Ask Publix, Kroger, and Ahold to join the Fair Food Agreement. Already signed this letter? Take five minutes now and ask your friends and family to send a message asking major U.S. supermarket chains to join the Fair Food Program. It will take them only a minute through our online emailing tool!

Justice Campaigns mobilizes people around the country in support of U.S. policies that will lead to the abolition of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Join us this summer for Recipe for Change, as we campaign for slave-free tomatoes.