The products you see at the grocery store with labels that promise to protect people and the planet don’t tell the full story. And oftentimes those labels are full of empty promises. But what if there was another way to ensure products are sourced from farms that put workers’ rights ahead of marketing?
The Vermont-based and worker-led organization Migrant Justice is doing just that. They call their Milk with Dignity program a “new day for human rights in dairy,” and in this episode we talk with organizer Marita Canedo.
Topics covered include:
How the struggle for human rights and against corporate exploitation spans the globe.
How Migrant Justice was formed and grew to focus on fundamental rights and protections, including freedom of movement, dignified work and safe housing, and freedom from discrimination.
Migrant Justice’s successful campaign for driver’s licenses for all people in Vermont, regardless of their immigration status.
What Worker-driven Social Responsibility means and what it looks like for workers to lead in developing standards for enforceable human rights protections on dairy farms.
How programs like Milk with Dignity tackle the root causes of exploitation in the food system by addressing the power dynamics.
How the Milk with Dignity program protected essential workers throughout the pandemic.
How Milk with Dignity compares to the “https://fairworldproject.org/podcast/season-2/season-2-episode-2/ (Fair Trade Dairy” discussed in Episode 2).
Migrant Justice’s current campaign calling on Hannafords to join the Milk with Dignity program.
Learn more about Migrant Justice: https://migrantjustice.net/ (https://migrantjustice.net/) and see https://migrantjustice.net/milk-with-dignity-reports-0 (their impact reporting here).
On November 8th after a 3 week “Dignity Tour” around Northeast states, Migrant Justice is hosting a big action at Hannaford headquarters to call on them to join the Milk with Dignity program. Join them to show them that farmworkers are not alone, and that there is a national movement for dignity and economic justice in the dairy supply chains. For more information, go to their website, or https://www.facebook.com/events/441419114257654 (https://www.facebook.com/events/441419114257654).
Outside the Northeastern U.S., you can still take action: Call on Hannafords to join Milk with Dignity online: https://migrantjustice.net/Hannaford-action-toolkit (https://migrantjustice.net/Hannaford-action-toolkit).
Fair World Project’s report, Label Before Labor compares Milk with Dignity to Fair Trade USA’s “Fair Trade Dairy” label: http://fairworld.info/labelbeforelabor (fairworld.info/labelbeforelabor).