Message from San Quintín to the United States: Boycott Driscoll’s

Farmworkers declare “we have suffered reprisals, mass dismissals, constant threats, increased workload for the same salary, and are obligated to join corporate unions that have never represented us, in exchange for keeping our jobs, among other labor abuses.”

[ Driscoll’s Headquarters. 345 Westridge Drive in Watsonville, California. ]

Driscoll’s, with headquarters at 345 Westridge Drive in Watsonville, California, is the world’s largest berry distributor and the target of an international boycott.

Besides providing fresh berries to customers around the world, Driscoll’s is often recognized for it’s philanthropy and community involvement. However there is also a dark side to the colorful berry company.

Author and documentarian Tomás Madrigal explains that Driscoll’s has a “notorious track record … when it comes to fighting against farm worker campaigns for worker rights and dignity.”

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Boycott Driscoll’s Action at Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz

“Thank you to all the people who enter the stores and raise the consciousness of the consumers, because we are going to win this struggle together with you all.” – Maestra Gloria

[ A customer enters a Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz holding a flyer that says, “Don’t Buy Driscoll’s: Respect The Families Who Grow Your Food.” Ruby Campos and Oscar Montiel display flyers in support the campaign. ]

On the afternoon of Friday, February 26, demonstrators gathered at Whole Foods Market in Santa Cruz, California to protest Driscoll’s, the largest berry distributor in the world with a history unjust labor practices and repression of union organizing. Founded in the Pajaro Valley in 1904, Driscoll’s is a privately held company with headquarters in Watsonville, California. Production of Driscoll’s berries extends into 22 countries.

Workers who grow, harvest, and pack Driscoll’s lucrative berries are struggling against the systematic abuses they are forced to endure, and the companies profiting from the exploitation of their collective labor. Demonstrators say they support the farmworkers, including the boycott they initiated against Driscoll’s, and cite poor working and living conditions, as well as growers refusing to negotiate with the workers’ unions: Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) [Families United for Justice] in Washington State and the Sindicato Independiente Nacional Democrático de Jornaleros Agrícolas (SINDJA) [National Democratic Union of Independent Farmworkers] in Baja California. The union SINDJA is called La Alianza (The Alliance) for short.

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Boycott Driscoll’s Action in Watsonville

Workers who grow, harvest, and pack Driscoll’s lucrative berries are struggling against the systematic abuses they are forced to endure, and the companies profiting from the exploitation of their collective labor.

[ Gloria Gracida, speaking on behalf of the Alliance of National, State and Municipal Organizations for Social Justice based in San Quintín, Baja California, informs shoppers at Mi Pueblo Market in Watsonville why they should boycott Driscoll’s. ]

On January 2, a couple dozen people kicked off 2016 with a protest in Watsonville, where Driscoll’s, the world’s largest distributor of fresh berries, is both headquartered and first began producing strawberries in 1904. The demonstrators are amplifying a campaign initiated by farmworkers in Washington State and Baja California to boycott Driscoll’s strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Workers who grow, harvest, and pack the lucrative berries are struggling against the systematic abuses they are forced to endure, and the companies profiting from the exploitation of their collective labor.

On the website Káráni: Escribir o Volar, Tomás Madrigal documents the boycott launched by farmworkers in 2013 against berries grown at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington, Washington. In response to the successful boycott against their brand, Sakuma Brothers shifted production in 2014 and began packing fresh market berries exclusively into Driscoll’s label cartons.

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