Good Friday Morning!
Are you eating your vegetables? As you do, have you any idea what went into their production? Unless you are eating homegrown, it is possible that those who work to grow the fruit and vegetables that you love are suffering for your health. The farmers of Immokalee (Florida) have been fighting for years for fair pay for their labor. They live and work in terrible conditions, and this latest effort (fasting for 6 days) was to try to get purchasers such as Publix, to pay a penny more per pound for the tomatoes, to be passed on to the farmers.
Living in the US we are spoilt. Every Sunday we are bombarded with sales papers. We drive around to get the lowest price on the goods we buy. In these economic times it is natural that we need to spread our paychecks as far as possible. But have we ever thought about what it takes to get these bargains? Companies have been outsourcing their workforce so they can pay way below minimum wage to workers of other countries. Women in third world countries suffer eye damage to keep the costs of computer production down. Farmers in third world countries do not get fair pay for the work and money they put into growing the coffee and chocolate that we love so much. In some countries children are part of the workforce.
Do we ever research the practices of the businesses that we support or do we only care about the bottom line, what will it cost me? They say ignorance is bliss, but they also say that all it takes for evil to triumph, is for good people to do nothing. Our actions and our inactions have consequences. The excuse that Publix gives for not paying one cent more for their tomatoes is that their shoppers will go elsewhere. As consumers, we have a lot of power. We can start supporting businesses that do fair trade with the people on the bottom of the ladder, and demand better treatment for them. In shopping for bargains, we have created the environment that sent the companies overseas looking for ways to shave costs and maintain their profit margin. This helped to create the unemployment situation here.
We are all connected. What is bad for one human being affects many. Sometimes as we are caught up in our own world, we forget the reality of others who are far less fortunate. Let us be more aware, make conscious decisions and where possible, use our dollars to make a point. We can support fair trade, even if it costs a little more. Buy local products: it saves money by reducing transportation costs and impacts the environment. We can all start somewhere.
You in your small corner, and I in mine.
Have a great weekend family! One Love!