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Food Chains (2014)

Thursday, February 4

Director: Stephanie Soechtig
Run time: 90 minutes

In this exposé, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the United States. There is more interest in food these days than ever, yet there is very little interest in the hands that pick it. Farmworkers, the foundation of our fresh food industry, are routinely abused and robbed of wages. In extreme cases they can be beaten, sexually harassed or even enslaved - all within the borders of the United States.

Food Chains reveals the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of large buyers of produce like fast food and supermarkets. Fast food is big, but supermarkets are bigger - earning $4 trillion globally. They have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past three decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farmworkers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. Yet many take no responsibility for this. The narrative of the film focuses on an intrepid and highly lauded group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida-the Coalition of Immokalee Workers or CIW-who are revolutionizing farm labor. Their story is one of hope and promise for the triumph of morality over corporate greed- to ensure a dignified life for farm workers and a more humane, transparent food chain.

Note: Students of the Spiritan Campus Ministry Cross-Cultural Mission Experience at Duquesne University are playing an active role in bringing attention to the struggles of the migrant farm workers in Immokalee, Florida, and are working as advocate of the CIW's. The students traveled to Immokalee in March of 2015, and have worked with various social service agencies to promote the Fair Food Movement, which ensures safe working conditions and fair wages for the workers. Here is a link to the Fair Food Movement: http://ciw-online.org/campaign-for-fair-food/

(Source: Official film site, http://www.foodchainsfilm.com/#the-film)


Kate Lucci
Spiritan Campus Minister, Duquesne University