As the tomato ban is finally broken by the coming harvest season, we can rejoice, both at the wondrous fruit’s return and at the prospect of waning our coverage on this high-interest topic. But before we conclusively turn the page on the great tomato embargo of 2009-10, we’d like to ask you to reflect on how it’s affected you. First: has it really affected you?
Two weeks ago, Bon Appétit announced that it would stop serving tomato wedges and slices on campus. This policy change was enacted due to an agreement that Bon Appétit’s national management signed with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, which represents tomato pickers in Florida.
Bon Appétit, the food provider for most of Washington University’s campus, recently announced that it would no longer serve tomato slices or wedges on campus in order to assure higher wages and better conditions for workers who pick tomatoes in Florida. Bon Appétit—which imports tomatoes from Florida during the winter—signed an agreement with the Coalition […]
I, like many Wash. U. students, was initially horrified when I first heard that Bon Appétit had decided to stop selling tomatoes for several months.
The human rights crisis in Florida’s fields is urgent and appalling. Conditions range from poverty wages to extremes of forced labor. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a Florida-based farmworker organization, has assisted the Department of Justice in the prosecution of six farm labor slavery cases involving more than 1,000 workers since 1997—cases where workers have been chained, beaten, pistol-whipped, raped, and forced to pick tomatoes and other crops against their will for little or no pay.
The University’s catering service has been duped by the latest incarnation of the classic “sweatshop” argument. Labor conditions activists, who classically gave Nike grief about how they make shoes, have shifted their gaze toward farmers. Our food service company, Bon Appétit, has been tricked into supporting the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their so-called “fair food” campaign.
BLTs at Wash. U. have just dropped the T. Effective this past Monday, Bon Appétit—the subcontractor that provides catering for Dining Services—no longer serves tomato slices or wedges on campus.
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