Milk with Dignity Celebrates 5 Years of Human Rights

On September 24th, hundreds of people came out to celebrate the five year anniversary of the Milk with Dignity Program. Nearly five years have passed since farmworkers and Ben & Jerry’s signed the first, historic agreement launching Milk with Dignity and bringing worker-driven social responsibility to the dairy industry.

At the anniversary celebration, dairy workers and the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s stood side-by-side once more to celebrate the incredible transformations that farmworkers and farmers have achieved through Milk with Dignity. Party-goers also got the first peek at a new report detailing the Program’s impact.

Check out the new report: “5 Years of Milk with Dignity” and read about what the Program has accomplished

Press Release: Hannaford Supermarkets ends sponsorship of Vermont Pride Parade and Festival

Grocery chain refuses to meet with farmworkers over rights abuses

Pride event to honor LGBTQ+ immigrant farmworkers

Hannaford Supermarkets will not sponsor this year’s Vermont Pride Parade and Festival for the first time since 2019. The grocery chain paid $15,000 to sponsor last year’s event, which occurs annually in Burlington every September. As a condition for sponsorship this year, the Pride Center of Vermont asked Hannaford to meet with farmworkers facing discrimination and abuse in the company’s dairy supply chain. The company has refused to meet with workers. In appreciation of this act of solidarity, farmworkers have launched a fundraiser to replace the funds that Pride has lost from Hannaford Supermarkets.

"Read More" to get the full story!

Press Release: Vermont legislators support farmworkers facing deportation

“Migrant Justice 10” backed by elected officials in appeal to federal agency

Montpelier.  Forty-one state legislators sent a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today urging the federal agency to drop the deportations of ten immigrant farmworkers. The letter comes two months after the group, dubbed the “Migrant Justice 10,” first petitioned ICE to close their cases and allow them to remain in the U.S.

On June 21st, the ten farmworkers gathered with supporters in front of the U.S. Federal Building in Burlington to formally request that ICE apply federal guidelines and exercise prosecutorial discretion in their cases. The petition was filed with initial support from Vermont's congressional delegation, Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray, and State’s Attorneys Sarah George and Todd Shove.

Organized by Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale, and Representative Taylor Small, state legislators wrote to express their support for the Migrant Justice 10 and to encourage ICE prosecutors to grant their petition. 

The letter states: “These ten individuals are valued members of our community here in Vermont. The farms that are so important to our state’s economy and rural character rely on their work. Vermont prides itself on its dairy industry, but the reality is that these products that are a quintessential aspect of the Vermont brand, from Cabot to Ben and Jerry’s, wouldn’t exist without migrant farm workers. During the pandemic, they were essential workers who helped keep our grocery shelves stocked and our families fed.”

Click "Read more" to see the full release and links to the letter!

Farmworkers picket Hannaford headquarters! Video and photo-report

On July 29th, two busloads of farmworkers and allies made the trip from Vermont to Maine, to the site of Hannaford’s corporate headquarters. They were met by dozens more, ready to picket the supermarket chain for its refusal to sit down with farmworkers and take responsibility for the labor abuses on farms producing Hannaford-brand milk.

Click “read more” to see the video and photo-report of the powerful action at Hannaford’s headquarters

Let's score a goal on Hannaford!

On July 16th, hundreds of farmworkers came out for Migrant Justice's annual soccer tournament. 14 teams of farmworkers from Vermont, Maine, and New York competed, as onlookers cheered their teams and chefs and artisans from the community sold their wares.

But it wasn't all fun and games. Players took a break from their games to film a video "scoring a goal on Hannaford Supermarkets:" check out the video below!

On July 29th, farmworkers will come together again, this time at the corporate headquarters of Hannaford Supermarkets in Scarborough, ME to demand dignity and respect. Dairy workers are urging the grocery chain to join the Milk with Dignity Program and commit to sourcing from farms that protect workers’ rights and well-being. But they can’t do it alone!

Click "Read More" to see how you can support!

Delia and her family are rallying at Hannaford. Will you join them?

On July 29th, farmworkers will come together at the corporate headquarters of Hannaford Supermarkets in Scarborough, ME to demand dignity and respect. Dairy workers are urging the grocery chain to join the Milk with Dignity Program and commit to sourcing from farms that protect workers’ rights and well-being. But they can’t do it alone!

Will you join farmworkers on 7/29 at 2pm to picket the Hannaford headquarters? Find out more information and pledge to join the action. If you’re coming from Vermont, you can reserve a seat on the bus!

Delia, a Migrant Justice member and farmworker in northern Vermont, will be one of many workers traveling from Vermont to lead this action. July 29th will be a major break from her normal routine. She describes her grueling schedule:

“I start work at four in the morning. I have to bring my son with me to sleep in the barn before he goes to school. I work for more than ten hours straight and my only break is less than five minutes to drink a few sips of coffee. I don’t have time to sit and eat a proper meal until I finish work in the afternoon. By eight at night, my body can’t take anymore and I have to go to sleep to be able to get up the next day and do it all again. I end every day exhausted and barely have time to spend with my family.

Click "Read More" to get the full story!

“it was a matter of life and death:” Join farmworkers at Hannaford HQ to demand Milk with Dignity

On July 29th, farmworkers will return to the headquarters of Hannaford Supermarkets. We want to speak with executives about the labor abuses in the company’s dairy supply chain and urge them to protect workers’ rights by joining the Milk with Dignity Program.

Pledge to join farmworkers on 7/29 at 2pm and take the fight for Milk with Dignity to Hannaford’s doorstep!

The need for Milk with Dignity has never been more clear. Even as milk prices rise, farmworkers are being left behind. Workers on farms producing Hannaford-brand milk suffer from low pay, long hours, dangerous conditions, and an utter lack of protections. But the abuses don’t end there. Violence and retaliatory firings are tragically commonplace for immigrant dairy workers.

Diego recently led a picket at a Hannaford supermarket, where he spoke out about the horrific abuses on his farm. Following the rally, Diego recounted:

The supervisor on the farm was a very violent man. He would force us to work extra hours, didn’t allow us to take food breaks, and constantly insulted us. My wife, my mother, and I all had to work 11 hours a day. Our housing had pest infestations, and the boss didn’t care.

One evening the supervisor was drinking and he started to come into our room, carrying a machete and threatening us. He wanted to hurt my mother. I decided to call the police. We felt it was a matter of life and death.

Click "Read More" to see Diego's fully testimony and find out how Hannaford has (or hasn't) responded!

Press Release: Stop the Deportations of the "Migrant Justice 10"

Burlington, VT.  Ten immigrant farmworkers stood in front of the U.S. Federal Building today to announce the filing of a joint petition to stop their deportations. Backed by supporters, the “Migrant Justice 10” called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to apply federal guidelines that benefit non-citizens with a history of advocacy for labor and housing rights, and to close their deportation cases, allowing them to remain in the U.S.

Pedro Ubaldo, one of the Migrant Justice 10, said: “I came to Vermont from Mexico when I was sixteen-years-old and have been working on dairy farms ever since. I was pulled over by ICE in 2019 for no reason and detained. Now they are trying to deport me to Mexico, but my life is here. I am fighting to stay in Vermont to provide for my family and organize with my community for a better future.”

Click "Read More" to get the full story!

Today! Call Hannaford to demand Milk with Dignity

Over the weekend, 100 farmworkers and allies picketed a Hannaford Supermarket to urge the company to stop human rights abuses in its dairy supply chain and join the Milk with Dignity Program.

Today, add your voice to theirs by calling Hannaford President Mike Vail. Take a minute to join hundreds of others calling to send a clear message to Hannaford: we want Milk with Dignity!

End of day update: over 200 calls made today! In total, supporters have called Hannaford over 2,000 times demanding Milk with Dignity!

Photo-report from Milk with Dignity picket!

Starting with Mayday’s huge day of action – with 30 protests at stores across the region – we are turning up the heat on Hannaford this summer. On June 12th, over 100 farmworkers and allies turned out for an energetic and spirited picket at Hannaford Supermarket in Williston, VT. While Hannaford tries to sweep labor abuses under the rug, workers and consumers are united in calling on the company to take real action to protect farmworker rights by joining the Milk with Dignity Program!

Sunday’s rally was a beautiful display of unity between the dairy workers behind Hannaford-brand milk and the supermarket chain’s customers. Farmworkers and consumers picketed in front of the busy Williston location, to the supportive honks of many. As a phalanx of Hananford’s hired security guards looked on, workers rose to speak about pervasive human rights abuses in Hannaford’s dairy supply chain – and about the power of the Milk with Dignity Program to ensure dignified and humane conditions.

Click "Read More" to see the beautiful photos and get the full story!