According to Nashville Fair Food, rallies all over the South this month will culminate in a final rally this weekend at the Publix headquarters in Florida — a state where farmworker exploitation is a major issue. Publix is the largest privately owned grocery store chain in the country, and efforts have been in full force to pressure the company to support the CIW's Campaign for Fair Food, which seeks to educate consumers on the issue of farm labor exploitation and to forge alliances between farmworkers and those consumers "in an effort to enlist the market power of major corporate buyers to help end that exploitation."
Since 2001, the campaign has been successful in working with Walmart, McDonald’s, Subway, Sodexo, Whole Foods and others in "establishing more humane farm labor standards and fairer wages for farmworkers in their tomato suppliers’ operations." The organization is currently focusing its efforts on Wendy's, Kroger and Publix to sign fair food agreements.
Nashville Fair Food held a similar rally — along with Murfreesboro Fair Food and the CIW — in October. The groups' intention is to place continued pressure on Florida-based Publix so that it will help to bring more changes in its home state.
The Nashville event begins at 3:30 p.m. in the parking lot of West End United Methodist Church and will continue down West End Avenue to Vine Street Christian Church at 5 p.m. and then on to the Publix market at 5:30 p.m. for the final picket and rally. At 7 p.m., there will be a dinner with the CIW at Belle Meade United Methodist Church. Nashvillians are invited to join the rally at any point along the way.
"Now is the Time" March to Publix
Tuesday, March 11
West End United Methodist Church, 2200 West End Ave. at 3:30 p.m.
Vine Street Christian Church, 4101 Harding Pike, at 5 p.m.
Publix, 4324 Harding Pike, at 5:30 p.m.