[I]n the eight years since the launch of the FFP [Fair Food Program], despite the expressed interest of smaller, local food retailers to do their part and engage with the Program, these buyers had no avenue to support the change underway on Fair Food farms. That was because the very engine that drove the program’s unprecedented success — the market consequences for violations of the FFP’s standards established in the CIW’s agreements with some of the world’s largest purchasers of produce — relied on the participating buyers’ overwhelming purchasing power to provide the necessary incentive for growers to remain in compliance with the Fair Food Program Code of Conduct. So for eight years, small, local grocers could not participate in a model founded on the market power of multi-billion dollar retail food corporations.
But today, Friday, November 8th, 2019, that is all about to change, as New York City’s fabled Park Slope Food Coop – one of the country’s largest, longest-running consumer coops – is launching a new partnership with the CIW in support of the Fair Food Program. The partnership will combine financial support for the monitoring and enforcement body of the Fair Food Program (the Fair Food Standards Council) through the contribution of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of FFP produce with a commitment to educate coop members about the importance of human rights protections for farmworkers though in-store promotions and educational events. And, perhaps most importantly, this exciting new partnership will open a vital new avenue for countless other similarly situated consumer coops, local retailers, restaurants and small restaurant chains to participate in the Presidential-medal winning human rights program.