[ New Leaf Community Markets in Felton, CA honors the boycott of Driscoll’s berries. Photos by Michael Gasser (@mapinduzi21k). May 3, 2016. Collage by Bradley Allen. ]
New Leaf Community Markets, purchased by New Seasons Market in 2013, is a grocery chain founded in Santa Cruz, California in 1985. The market currently has seven locations, and an Aptos store is expected to open in August 2017.
On May 2, 2016, New Leaf Community Markets in Felton, which operates with a franchise agreement under separate ownership, confirmed that they are not selling Driscoll’s berries. New Leaf Community Markets in Boulder Creek operates under separate ownership as well.
This comes as exciting news for the boycott Driscoll’s movement. New Leaf Community Markets in Felton is believed to be the first grocery store in Santa Cruz County to remove Driscoll’s berries from their shelves in honor of the boycott.
The remaining New Leaf Community Markets locations, including the store on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz, continue to sell Driscoll’s berries despite requests from their customers to respect the international boycott. On May 1, a large group of demonstrators, many of whom are also customers of the popular market, entered the store with signs and chants calling for the boycott of Driscoll’s and “no more blood berries.” A letter was given to an employee asking that the store honor the boycott and not sell Driscoll’s berries.
New Leaf Community Markets was the first grocer in California, and second in the world, to achieve a B Corporation certification. The website for Certified B Corporations states, “B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability, and aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems.”
New Leaf Community Markets in Felton has taken a righteous step by demonstrating their respect for the farmworkers who grow our food. In addition to pulling Driscoll’s berries from their shelves, the market is displaying a laminated letter in their berry section which provides an overview of the boycott, phone numbers to call in support of farmworkers, and websites for more information.
To thank New Leaf Community Markets in Felton, call (831) 335-7322.
You can also call the six other New Leaf Community Markets to ask them if they are still selling Driscoll’s, and if so, politely explain why you feel they should honor the boycott.
Westside Santa Cruz (Flagship Location): (831) 426-1306
Downtown Santa Cruz: (831) 425-1793
Capitola: (831) 479-7987
Boulder Creek: (831) 338-7211
Half Moon Bay: (650) 726-3110
Pleasanton: (925) 621-7660
In honor of the international boycott against Driscoll’s, New Leaf Community Markets in Felton, CA has removed Driscoll’s berries from their shelves while displaying the following letter in support of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (Families United for Justice):
DON’T BUY DRISCOll’S BERRIES
We are here today in solidarity with farmworker families fighting for a union contract at Sakuma Brothers berry farm, a 1,500 acre industrial agriculture corporation in Burlington, WA, and the 80,000 farmworkers who are fighting for a union contract in San Quintin, Mexico.
Over the summer of 2013, three hundred farmworkers went on strike for their rights at Sakuma Brothers farm. They called for an end to systematic wage theft, particularly from youth workers, substandard housing, racist harassment from their supervisors, and denial of lunch and rest breaks among other demands.
At first, Sakuma negotiated with the workers’ elected negotiating committee, but then broke agreements they had reached, including going back on a new pay rate per pound of berries Sakuma and the workers had agreed on. In addition, Sakuma sent private security forces to the workers’ camps and the fields, which a Skagit County judge ruled to be a violation of Washington State labor law. After Sakuma broke their side of the agreements, the farmworkers, through their union Familias Unidas por la Justicia (Families United for Justice) asked the public to boycott Sakuma Bros Berry Farm until the labor dispute is resolved and the workers have a contract recognizing their union.
Sakuma responded to the public boycott by moving the majority of their production under the Driscoll’s label. Driscoll’s is a multi-national berry selling corporation who sources from farms all over the world including San Quintin, Mexico where 80,000 farmworkers went on strike in March of 2015 to demand an end to being paid 7 dollars a day, widespread sexual abuse of women in the fields, and illegal child labor. They are still fighting for a union contract.
Since Familias Unidas called for a boycott in 2013 they have been successful at fighting Sakuma’s attempts to crush their union through illegal retaliatory practices. In the summer of 2014 Sakuma sent letters to workers saying that if they had missed 5 days or more (ie: went on strike) they were no longer eligible to work for the company and changed the housing rules to exclude workers with children and spouses who weren’t working (ie the whole union). Familias Unidas sued Sakuma over these practices and a Skagit County judge found them to be retaliatory and illegal.
In 2014 Sakuma also attempted to replace the entire union workforce with an application for 436 H2A guestworkers, which Familias Unidas members and supporters successfully blocked in an historic effort where they used massive direct actions at the department of labor, and public meetings where Sakuma was present among other tactics that were successful at getting Sakuma to withdraw their application for H-2A guestworkers due to massive public pressure.
This year Sakuma did not apply for H2A workers and has rehired many of the union members, but the new corporate CEO Danny Weeden who was hired this winter is continuing the company’s practice of refusing to negotiate a union contract with Familias Unidas por la Justicia and is trying to convince the public that they have met the workers’ demands.
Now is the time to act in solidarity with farmworker families and Boycott Driscoll’s berries! Familias Unidas’s struggle is a historic one that has the potential to transform the deeply exploitative treatment of farmworkers in Washington state where there is only one farm with a union contract in the entire state! Because Driscoll’s is a global corporation, FUJ and the workers in San Quintin need solidarity from consumers and organizers from beyond Washington state.
Call Sakuma’s CEO Danny Weeden and urge him to negotiate
with Familias Unidas por la Justicia 360 757 6611
Call Costco Corporate headquarters and urge Jeff Lyons to
stop buying Driscoll’s Berries 425 311 8100
If you are interested in forming a boycott committee where you live email [email protected] or call 206 272 0154
Previous coverage of the boycott Driscoll’s movement:
- Boycott Driscoll’s Action in Watsonville
- Boycott Driscoll’s Action at Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz
- Message from San Quintín to the United States: Boycott Driscoll’s
- Boycott Driscoll’s West Coast Tour at Driscoll’s HQ in Watsonville
- Boycott Driscoll’s Outreach on Watsonville’s Main Street
- UFW Tries to Silence Boycott Driscoll’s Activists at Cesar Chavez March
- Driscoll’s Runs Away At Watsonville Earth Day
- May Day March for Beach Flats Garden and Boycott Driscoll’s