10/3 Milk with Dignity Report to be Released!
Posted Fri, 10/02/2020 - 2:44pm
On October 3rd, Migrant Justice and the Milk with Dignity Standards Council will release a report documenting the first two years of the Milk with Dignity Program. Covering hundreds of dairy workers, the program is achieving unprecedented transformations on dairy farms throughout Vermont and New York, and we are excited to share a detailed report of these accomplishments.
10/3 will mark three years since Ben & Jerry's became the first company to join the Milk with Dignity Program and a full year since we first publicly called on supermarket chain Hannaford to follow suit. We will hold a press conference in Taylor Park in downtown St. Albans, VT. St. Albans is the epicenter of northern Vermont's dairy industry and home to the dairy cooperative to which Milk with Dignity farms belong. Workers and farmers in the program, as well as representatives from Ben & Jerry's and the Milk with Dignity Standards Council, will speak about the Program's incredible accomplishments.
Following the press conference, we will drive to a nearby Hannaford supermarket to deliver the Milk with Dignity report. Simultaneous delegations will happen at 25 Hannaford locations around the northeast, from Plattsburgh, NY to Portland, ME.
This summer, after months of pressure from Migrant Justice, Hannaford began to make claims that the company had developed "standards of engagement" – or expectations of labor conditions – for its suppliers. Hannaford's spokesperson Ericka Dodge claims that the company requires fair treatment and protections for workers in its supply chains. In reality, this commitment has proven meaningless.
As the 68-page Biennial Report documents, conditions on dairy farms outside the Milk with Dignity Program are dire: wages are low; housing is squalid; injuries are commonplace; and workers don't speak up for fear of being fired or worse. The farms producing Hannaford-brand milk are not exempt from these conditions.
Yet the report also shows that change is not only possible, it is already happening. Hundreds of workers on farms across Vermont and New York are defending their human rights and achieving dignified conditions through this worker-driven program. By joining Milk with Dignity, Hannaford can expand those protections to hundreds more.