Worker Welfare Updates
Message from Soren Bjorn, President, Driscoll’s of the Americas
For more than 100 years, Driscoll’s has been passionate about growing great tasting berries. As a family-owned company, our farming heritage includes a commitment to improving the communities where our berries are grown and harvested. We value everyone who is part of this process and we understand that as a trusted brand, it is our responsibility to ensure our berries are grown and harvested in a way that is consistent with our vision and strong values. We must also ensure the right working conditions are in place on the independent farms that supply our berries.
Driscoll’s takes it very seriously with any concerns on how our independent growers treat their farmworkers. In 2015, Driscoll’s was met with unprecedented challenges regarding our operational practices. We’ve taken the opportunity to reflect during these challenges and have turned a critical eye towards our broader enterprise. We see this as an opportunity to continue improving our practices and demonstrate our industry leadership. Our goal is to provide transparency in our continuing journey of upholding our Global Worker Welfare Standards with the hundreds of independent growers who supply our berries around the world.
Below are updates to two separate labor challenges, both of which are resolved. We will continue to outreach to individuals and groups who may be distributing inaccurate information and share with them the depth of our commitment to Worker Welfare. Groups that knowingly share incorrect information distract from the goal of improving conditions for all farm workers.
• Baja Strike Ends June 2015: Mexican Government, Agriculture Industry and Local Farm Workers Negotiate Wages
• Boycott Resolution: Sakuma Brothers and FUJ Reach Agreement on a Fair Process
As part of our core values of passion, humility and trustworthiness, we also welcome the opportunity to meet and learn from any advocacy group who may have concerns about the practices of our network of independent growers. We’ve also extended invitations for in-person discussions and look forward to engaging with the following groups and individuals:
• Gloria Gracida Martinez, spokesperson for Alianza de Organizaciones por la Justicia Social (Alianza)
• Al Rojas, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement - Sacramento AFL- CIO
Driscoll’s Worker Welfare Standards address our role when it comes to unions, freedom of association and collective bargaining. Our Worker Welfare standards do include ensuring workers have the freedom whether to choose (or not to choose) to establish, affiliate and take action in free and independent legal workers’ organizations without interference or reprisals. This is the choice of the workers and not Driscoll’s or any other organizations or groups.
We believe that all farm workers have the right to be treated with respect that their workplaces are clean and healthy, and that employment within the Driscoll's system provides income opportunities that meet or exceed the local standards. We are hopeful that our efforts will allow us to remain humble and uphold our Mission to continually delight our berry consumers by better aligning with our growers and customers.
- SOREN BJORN, President, DRISCOLL’S OF the Americas