ATLANTA McDonald's USA has agreed to demands made over the last two years from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to pay an additional penny per pound for Florida tomatoes McDonald's purchases. The increase will be paid directly to farm workers who harvest the tomatoes, who have complained about inhumane working conditions and unfair wages.
The Carter Center, founded by former President Jimmy Carter to facilitate peaceful resolutions to conflicts, helped to negotiate the agreement. "I welcome McDonald's commitment to work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to improve the lives of the workers who supply their 13,000 U.S. restaurants with tomatoes," Carter said in a statement.
J.C. Gonzalez-Mendez, McDonald's senior vice president, supply chain management, said at a joint press conference that McDonald's has set standards higher than the industry average in its supply chain aimed at enhancing working conditions for tomato pickers and has seen progress being made. "We believe more needs to be done. McDonald's produce suppliers are required to purchase tomatoes only from those growers that have adopted our standards," he said.
The CIW previously reached a similar agreement with Taco Bell. The group plans to continue to target other major foodservice chains in the future.