For more than seven years, hundreds of thousands of agricultural workers from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and their consumer allies have been demanding verifiable protection from sexual violence, forced labor and other human rights violations in Wendy`s supply chain by joining the president`s fair food program. All the major fast food companies – McDonald`s, Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell and Chipotle – as well as nine other major food retailers, from Whole Foods to Walmart, have joined. All except Wendy`s. More than 150 farm workers, students and local residents demonstrated Saturday in front of Wendy`s at 4114 U.S. 41 N. in Naples to intensify the ongoing boycott of the company and call on the fast food chain to sign a “fair food agreement.” For years, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers has campaigned to persuade Wendy`s to join the Fair Food Program, an internationally recognized human rights partnership that protects agricultural workers from abuse and ensures better wages. Program partner companies include Walmart, McDonald`s, Burger King, Chipotle, Trader Joe`s, Subway and Yum Brands (Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut). In 2005, after the CIW boycotted Taco Bell for nearly four years, the company agreed to sign a fair food agreement that required the company to pay an “extra penny per pound” on its tomatoes, which were to be passed on to tomato harvesters as a wage bonus, and to work with CIW to improve conditions in the fields.  College campuses were an important impetus for this agreement; Twenty-two colleges have banned Taco Bell from operating.  CIM then targeted McDonald`s for two years; In 2007, McDonald`s signed a fair food agreement with CIW.  Other fast food chains and food retailers have followed suit.
But as for its implicit premise – that the Fair Food program itself is somehow anti-American – well, it`s a matter of opinion, and we just have to agree on that to disagree (once we finally sit down to find a fair food deal). According to CIM`s website, Wendy`s is the only one of the five largest fast food companies in the U.S. — McDonald`s, Subway, Burger King, Taco Bell and Wendy`s — not to sign an agreement. Today, the Fair Food Program is considered a benchmark for employee protection and human rights programs around the world. It is a partnership between farmers, agricultural workers and food retail businesses that protects the safety of agricultural workers in the fields, including sexual harassment, and guarantees them better wages. .