In September of last year, the CIW and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) announced a groundbreaking collaboration to “explore the implementation of the award-winning WSR model in the UK fishing industry.” Their goal: To build and launch a pilot program, based on the CIW’s Fair Food Program, with fishers, vessel owners, and retail seafood buyers to address generations of labor abuse on the high seas. Today — nearly one year of coalition building and careful planning later — the work in the UK is picking up steam, and the growing partnership for a more modern fishing industry is looking to be ready to launch by the end of 2023, according to reporting from the Financial Times.
Fair Food Campaign
In December of 2016, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), based out of Immokalee, Florida, received a phone call from two men who had just escaped captivity near the town of Pahokee by hiding in the trunk of a car. The two men were migrant farmworkers, working on H-2A visas, who had been harvesting watermelons for Bladimir Moreno, owner of the farm labor contracting business Los Villatoros Harvesting LLC—a business that, in reality, was little more than a modern-day slave camp. “They told of being held against their will on a labor camp surrounded by barbed wire,” the CIW notes, “working and living under constant surveillance, and earning extremely low pay.”