Migrant Justice Announces New Milk With Dignity Campaign at Farm to Plate Conference
Posted Tue, 11/11/2014 - 1:47pm
Migrant Justice Launches Milk with Dignity Campaign!
On Thursday, Migrant Justice's Abel Luna, following a speech by VT Governor Shumlin, addressed a crowd of 300 people at the annual Vermont Farm to Plate conference to a backdrop of this powerful slideshow:
Abel reflected that Governor Shumlin's rosy picture of the Vermont Food System "Is not the reality I see when I go out to farms." Then he offered a solution, "We invite you to support the Milk with Dignity Campaign. Middlebury College students took the lead launching a student petition drive this week calling upon Middlebury College to ensure that all dairy products purchased by the College support the human rights of farmworkers and provide a financial incentive to farmers!" Luna explained the campaign is also designed to support those farmers who do the right thing when it comes to labor and housing.
For more on the Milk with Dignity campaign go here.
Farmworker leader and organizer Kike Balcazar followed Abel in a breakout group focus on food equity and access drawing nearly 100 people to deepen the earlier panel. Kike shared, "We are glad to be here to participate and imagine alternatives to the current broken food system. We have been organizing because the farmworker community and our dignity needs to be recognized in this state. Its time for corporations who are profiting off this system to take responsibility by participating in the Milk with Dignity campaign."
For a good summary of the day check out this VT Digger piece here:
Middlebury College Students Join Milk with Dignity Campaign at "Eat Real" Gathering!
Earlier this week Migrant Justice farmworkers were invited to share personal stories and reflections as part of the week-long "Eat Real" conference at Middlebury College. A group of students from Middlebury College' announced the creation of the Student Farmworker Solidarity Alliance recruiting student support to sign on to the new "Milk with Dignity" petition.
Migrant Justice organizers explained that there were many farms that are respecting the dignity and rights of workers and this campaign looks to raise the bar across the industry. Students were moved to action by Victor Diaz story who shared, "We lived in an overcrowded camper with a leaky roof. We had to sleep in shifts. We had no kitchen. The farmers' solution was to throw a tarp over the roof. On top of this he retained our first weeks wages." Diaz went on to explain his now well known story of standing up for his rights and dignity in part thanks to Middlebury College student supporters who participated in the first Milk with Dignity action early this summer.
Victor was one of 3 farmworkers stories shared during the event where worker's organizing is turning hardship to dignity.
We need your support! Vermont farmworkers launched the Milk with Dignity Campaign to build a movement for dignified livelihoods for dairy workers.
Join the movement! Contact us to learn how your farm, college, school, hospital, grocery store, faith community, restaurant or other institution can invite dairy supply chain retailers and businesses to:
- Comply with farmworker-defined social responsibility and human rights standards
- Support farmers who comply by providing a financial incentive
To get your community involved email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-658-6770