Photo caption: Greg Asbed, a labor activist in Florida, was awarded a $625,000 MacArthur fellowship last week. 

A MacAuthur ‘genius’ on overcoming modern farm slavery

Noam Scheiber New York Times October 18, 2017

Greg Asbed has spent much of his life fighting horrific labor abuses, including slavery. An organizer and human rights strategist, he co-founded the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group that pioneered a system for overcoming brutal conditions in American agriculture. Last week, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded Mr. Asbed one of 24 annual fellowships, known colloquially as a “genius grant,” to support his work in this area.

Mr. Asbed’s group, based in Immokalee, Fla., the state’s tomato capital, has reached agreements with Walmart, McDonald’s and a dozen other major buyers of farm products to take part in its Fair Food Program. The companies pay a small premium for each unit of crop they purchase, sometimes referred to in shorthand as a “penny per pound,” and the growers agree to abide by a code of conduct on issues like worker safety and pay, which the premium funds.  See full story.

Photo caption: Greg Asbed, a labor activist in Florida, was awarded a $625,000 MacArthur fellowship last week. (Credit: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.