Food Chains Travels to Berlin and Receives Outstanding Response

While the United States has recently become increasingly interested in the food industry – where our food comes from, how it is produced, whether or not it is organic – few have taken notice of the conditions under which those who produce this food work. Food Chainshighlights the numerous human rights abuses endured by the agricultural workers are forced to work under inhumane conditions for little pay. The film explores exploitative abuses such as wage theft, abuse, and modern-day slavery, and stars farm workers and activists along with Eva Longoria (Executive Producer), Eric Schlosser, Dolores Huerta, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

On Monday, January 10th, Food Chains premiered as an official selection of the Berlin Film Festival. While the film zones in on the agricultural working conditions in a rural Florida town, it received an incredible reaction across the ocean and was shown twice during the festival to sold out audiences. The story of the Fair Food Program affected and excited audiences, and expressed the importance of a movement to change unfair agricultural labor practices across the world. A panel on farm labor and the food industry followed the film, featuring the CIW’s Greg Asbed, Diego Luna, Eric Schlosser, and former German Minister of Culture Michael Naumann, along with television and radio interviews, and print stories generating further buzz about the film.

(Source: Coalition of Immokalee Workers, February 15th, 2014)

The Food Chains premiere garnered a truly outstanding response in Berlin, with audiences eager to take action. Director Sanjay Rawal was inspired by the positive feedback, with the press wondering when the Fair Food Program would spread to farms in Europe, and audiences incredibly enthusiastic about the film’s message and action plan.

The film’s premiere in Berlin was particularly significant in light of the current debate in Germany surrounding fair labor practices. As this issue unfolds, the discussion that Food Chains explores regarding low-wage, working treatment and exploitation, and immigration, was especially important within this context for the continued push towards fair labor practices.

(Source: Coalition of Immokalee Workers, February 15th, 2014)

The excitement around the film is only the beginning! The Food Chainscampaign will be launching in the US within the next few months, but you don’t have to wait to see the film to take action. Publix, the 8th largest privately owned corporation in the US and Florida’s predominant grocery store, has refused to join the Fair Food Program and protect its workers. Take action and call on Publix to join the Fair Food Program by signing this petition, bringing this letter to a Publix supermarket near you, and educating your friends and family with this flyer. Learn more about the campaign by visiting the Food Chains website and downloading the campaign background PDF.

One month ago the Coalition of Immokalee Workers successfully pressured Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, to join the Fair Food Program. This is an incredibly exciting step, but we need all corporations to be on board. Want to bring the film to your community? Join the conversation on Twitter at @FoodChainsFilm and Facebook!

By Sarah Miller, Campaign Development Intern

Note: Picture Motion worked with filmmakers Sanjay Rawal and Smriti Keshari, and their campaign partners to develop the Food Chains social impact strategy in 2013.