For Immediate Release


Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Greg Asbed,, 239-986--2364
Karen Cutler,, 215-238-4063

Coalition of Immokalee Workers & ARAMARK

ARAMARK & Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) Sign Agreement to Improve Wages, Working Conditions in Tomato Fields of Florida

PHILADELPHIA - The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and ARAMARK
have reached an agreement to address farmworker wages and working
conditions in the tomato fields of Florida. Similar to those previously
reached between the CIW and other food service and restaurant groups,
the agreement establishes a supplier code of conduct developed and
implemented with input from farmworkers themselves.  ARAMARK will also
pay a 1.5-cent premium for every pound of tomatoes picked, with the
premium to be distributed directly to harvesters.

As a result of this agreement,
ARAMARK, along with other CIW partner companies, will steer its tomato
purchases toward those growers who make a genuine effort to meet higher
labor standards and away from any grower who is found to be associated
with abusive labor practices. 

Independent discussions between ARAMARK, the
Student/Farmworker Alliance (SFA), the CIW and the Florida Tomato
Growers Exchange (FTGE) have explored wage and working conditions of
Florida tomato farm workers. As a result of these discussions, ARAMARK
has signed this agreement, supporting the CIW's Fair Food Program.  "We
have addressed concerns about these issues with our major suppliers and,
amongst other things, have put processes in place that will demand
greater transparency in our purchasing channel as a step to working
together as an industry to better improve working conditions," said
Robert Dennill, Associate Vice President of Corporate Responsibility for

"We are happy to be working with an industry leader
like ARAMARK to advance fundamental human rights in Florida's fields,"
said Lucas Benitez of the CIW.  "Social responsibility takes a genuine,
sustained engagement with workers and growers, and a determination to
support, with increased business, those growers who agree to comply with
the highest standards."

"Together with ARAMARK and our other partners, we are
building a system of real accountability, with tangible consequences
for growers who fail to protect farmworkers' basic rights," continued
Benitez.  "It is our belief that such accountability, with worker input,
will be the foundation for lasting improvements in the industry.


About Coalition of the Immokalee Workers
The CIW ( is a community-based farmworker
organization headquartered in Immokalee, Florida, with over 4,000
members. The CIW seeks modern working conditions for farmworkers and
promotes their fair treatment in accordance with national and
international labor standards. Among its accomplishments, the CIW has
aided in the prosecution by the Department of Justice of six slavery
operations and the liberation of well over 1,000 workers.. The CIW's
Campaign for Fair Food has won unprecedented support for fundamental
farm labor reforms from retail food industry leaders, with the goal of
enlisting the market power of those companies to demand more humane
labor standards from their Florida tomato

ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing
award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and
career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school
districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. The
company is recognized as one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" by
the Ethisphere Institute, as the industry leader in FORTUNE magazine's
"World's Most Admired Companies," and as one of America's Largest
Private Companies by both FORTUNE and Forbes magazines. ARAMARK
seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients,
customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy,
environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community
involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately
255,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the
company's Web site,,


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