Students Stand for Milk with Dignity!
Posted Mon, 12/14/2015 - 8:06pm
Click here to Purchase Tickets for our 12/19 Annual Fiesta!
This summer Ben & Jerry's took the lead in the dairy industry promising it would incorporate the Milk with Dignity Program into its supply chain to ensure 100% of their milk is sourced in compliance with the human rights of farmworkers. The campaign was highlighted in the New York Times and inspired a national delegation of Real Food Challenge student activists to travel to Vermont for a reality tour of dairy farms that turned their world upside down:
"The confusing reality is that for an outsider, this area of Vermont is beautiful. There are rolling hills, bucolic farmsteads, those iconic red barns… But these vistas--so reminiscent of grocery-store packaging and dairy industry marketing--obscure the very real struggle that workers and farmers face. And even after witnessing these human rights violations first hand, some part of me still wants to hold on to the marketeers’ myth of this agricultural dreamland. To pretend, to ignore, to turn away.
It begs an important question for all of consumers: knowing the reality, will we work to challenge the status quo or will we cling to the myth?"
(Read full article here)
And ever since students from Real Food Challenge have been engaging in student-farmworker strategy sessions and deepening their understanding and commitment to the Milk with Dignity program, which like their Real Food campaigns, holds corporations accountable to fix the broken food system that they profit most from:
"Rather than demonize farm owners, who themselves are in a tough place, the farmworkers have followed the money up the supply chain to where the real power lies. They are bringing their reality directly to companies like Ben & Jerry’s and other big dairy buyers, who have the resources and responsibility to pay a bit more for their milk to ensure that all their supplying farms can stay afloat AND respect fundamental human rights. It’s called ‘Milk with Dignity.'"
So, join Vermont's farmworkers this Saturday at our Annual Fiesta and celebrate another amazing year and this historical step forward for Milk with Dignity because as our student allies put it:
"Ultimately, by joining this ‘Milk with Dignity’ campaign we’re breaking down isolation. Students and dairy workers are building relationships, bonds of solidarity, sharing rides, learning english together, and developing political strategy.
When we stand together and raise our voices for justice we gain much more than higher wages or safer housing -- by recognizing the humanity in others, we regain a bit of our own."
Milk with Dignity is just getting started. Join the movement here!