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Forums > General Discussion > "Food with Integrity"??

Posted by zapata at 20.11.06 18:50:40.
""Food with Integrity"??"

Dear Chipotle fans,

I would like a moment of your time to explain to you a little bit about the harsh realities that lay behind Chipotle's food and make it possible for you to enjoy all of that good, cheap food.

These realities include almost 30 years of stagnant wages, violence and abuse, wage theft, lack of basic benefits and legal protections, and - in extreme cases - conditions of modern-day slavery for the agricultural workers who plant, harvest, and pack the produce that ends up in Chipotle's burritos.

Workers with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers have called on Chipotle to truly live up to its "Food With Integrity" creed by addresing the human rights crisis in its tomato supply chain.

You can check out our website (, this article (, and the Student/Farmworker Alliance ( for more info.

The reason we are addressing Chipotle is simple: Chipotle says that its business is organized around one guiding philosophy, and it calls that philosophy ?Food with Integrity.? Chipotle CEO Steve Ells defines ?Food with Integrity? on the company?s website, where he says its goal is ?no less ambitious than revolutionizing the way America grows, gathers, serves, and eats its food.? Here?s a little more from what Chipotle calls ?Our Food with Integrity Manifesto?:

?Food with Integrity means working back along the food chain. It means going beyond distributors to discover how the vegetables are grown, how the pigs, cows, and chickens are raised? Our size helps us influence the decisions of our suppliers. And lets us shoulder our way into the consciousness of the American eating public? What does all this mean to you? In the short-term it means better-tasting tacos and burritos? Looking forward, it means encouraging growers to pursue humane and healthy practices? It means new and higher expectations from all of us about what we consume every day.?

We agree with Chipotle?s vision of ?Food with Integrity,? but we don?t think it should be limited to environmental and animal rights concerns. We think the definition of ?integrity? must include the full respect of human rights for the farmworkers who cultivate and harvest the food, too.

In short, we believe that ?Work with Dignity? must be an integral part of ?Food with Integrity.? But the workers who pick tomatoes for Chipotle today are denied the right to overtime pay, denied the right to organize, and earn sub-poverty annual wages. They receive absolutely none of the traditional employment benefits ? no sick leave, no health insurance, no holiday pay, and no retirement plan. It is the contradiction between Chipotle?s vision of ?Food with Integrity? ? a vision that the company has placed squarely at the heart of its marketing strategy ? and the reality of those farm labor conditions that has brought us to ask Chipotle to help us change those conditions.

Chipotle?s goal ? ?to revolutionize the way America grows and gathers its food? ? is our goal too. But we cannot claim to change how we gather our food unless those who gather it -- this country?s farmworkers -- are paid a wage that allows them to live with dignity and are afforded the right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives as workers.

Or else, "Food With Integrity" is nothing but another hollow, slick advertising slogan that Chipotle is hoping to manipulate you with.

The choice is yours: continue being a mindless consumer drawn to Chipotle by slick marketing slogans and cheap food made possible by exploitation, or join us to call on Chipotle to ensure basic human rights and decency. Chipotle certainly has the resources to bring about change, as do we as consumers.

So what's it going to be?

question! - glenn1003 (1 replies)
        Food With Integrity - Montecristo 0 replies)
That's strictly your problem, not Chipotle - Rick555 (2 replies)
        go back to nazi germany. - HoratioTuna 1 replies)
                The bigger issue - russhall 0 replies)
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