Looking Back on Bon Appétit’s Decades of Support for Farmworkers’ Rights

After almost two decades of boycotting, marching, educating, researching, and signing onto commitments, Bon Appétit Management Company is proud to reflect on progress made while continuing the fight for farmworkers’ rights. We are led by the important work of laborers and organizers in the fields who are laying the groundwork for a world where farmworkers, regardless of their country of origin, immigration status, or financial stability, are treated with dignity, respect, and are fairly compensated for their work.  

There’s still much more work to be done, we are proud of the legacy we’ve built to leverage our purchasing power and voice to demand better livelihoods for farmworkers in the United States.  

While we continue to stay engaged with this pressing challenge, here’s a look back at what we’ve done so far:  

  1. In 2001, Bon Appétit became the first food service company to support the boycott of produce grown by NORPAC (the largest food packing and processing cooperative in Oregon) led by PCUN, Oregon’s union for farmworkers. 
  2. In 2009, we signed the Fair Food Agreement (FFA) spearheaded by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to ensure better wages and working conditions for tomato pickers in South Florida. Tomatoes in our cafés east of the Mississippi are certified by the FFA.
  3. We are a founding member of the Equitable Food Initiative, a multifaceted certification that ensures transparency, better labor standards, and food safety training for workers. Tomatoes and strawberries in our cafés west of the Mississippi are EFI certified.  
  4. In partnership with the United Farm Workers (UFW), we released a groundbreaking report in 2011 to uncover the gap in labor protections for US farmworkers: The Inventory of Farmworker Issues and Protections in the United States.
  5. In 2011, we hosted TEDxFruitvale, a one-day conference focused on amplifying the voices of farmworkers and labor movements in the US. The event featured 24 speakers from activists, authors, workers, and community leaders to celebrate the contributions of farmworkers while shedding light on the complex struggles they face.
  6. We’ve committed to educating our guests about the harsh realities for farmworkers by shining a spotlight on the issue every March during National Farmworker Awareness Week in collaboration with Student Action with Farmworkers. This year, our goal is to raise awareness about the hidden meaning of fifty cents for tomato pickers in South Florida, and the progress achieved by the Fair Food Program.