AUSTIN, TX (June 4, 2009) – Whole Foods Market, the leading natural and organic foods supermarket, announced today that Lady Moon Farms and Alderman Farms are the first Florida tomato growers to sign agreements with Whole Foods Market in support of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers' (CIW) “penny-per-pound” program, designed to improve wages for tomato harvesters. “Lady Moon and Alderman Farms are examples of Florida growers that we are proud to support,” said Karen Christensen, global produce coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “These farms are long-term partners of Whole Foods Market and we look forward to continued growth together. Agreements like these are in the best interests of the people who harvest our tomatoes and are consistent with Whole Foods Market's core values.” “The Campaign for Fair Food is bearing fruit,” said Lucas Benitez of the CIW. “For nearly two seasons, the Campaign's promise of fair wages for Florida's farmworkers has been held hostage by the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange. Today, however, the higher wages and fairer conditions we have fought for will begin to reach the workers who so clearly deserve them, thanks to the leadership of Whole Foods Market and the forward-thinking growers at Alderman Farms and Lady Moon Farms.
“Without a doubt, the food market is changing, and for the better. Sustainability, both social and environmental, is the way of the future. Together, farmworkers, farmers, and buyers are forging a path toward that better future.”
In September 2008, Whole Foods Market became the first in the supermarket industry to sign an agreement with the CIW to work in partnership to help improve wages and working conditions for Florida tomato pickers.