“Food Chains” Opens Today

“Food Chains,” a new documentary about farm labor in the United States opened today in theaters across the country. The film highlights the struggles and triumphs of a brave group of farmworkers, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), who have challenged some of the most powerful forces in the fast food and grocery industries to help ensure fair wages and better working conditions. CIW is a longtime grantee of the Public Welfare Foundation.

Among the executive producers of the film are Eva Longoria, the actress and activist, and Eric Schlosser, who also produced “Fast Food Nation” and “Food, Inc.” It is narrated by Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker and directed by Sanjay Rawal, who has won awards for previous documentaries, “Challenging Impossibility” and “Ocean Monk.”

The film shows how farmworkers have suffered abusive treatment, including enslavement and sexual harassment. But when CIW members came together with a strategy, they have been able to negotiate significant agreements with major corporate buyers of tomatoes, including Walmart, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Burger King, McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

The corporations pay an extra penny for each pound of tomatoes picked by workers. They also agree to purchase tomatoes only from growers who treat farmworkers fairly, with terms that include prohibitions against common forms of wage theft, zero tolerance for slavery, and support for worker health and safety committees.

The Public Welfare Foundation also supported the film through a grant to the Public Concern Foundation.


To see a trailer for the film, click here.


The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need. These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being, and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter or on Facebook.

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