By Dillan Horton
Last year, I didn’t pay attention to what company my produce comes from. I’m assuming most people don’t pay much attention to that either. That has become more important for me and I wanted to explain why.
In recent years, reports have come out on inhumane worker conditions for produce suppliers in Mexico. One of the sites best know for these conditions is BerryMex in San Quintin, a grower for Driscoll’s Berries. At these farms, many pickers work 12 hour days, getting paid just $6 a day. Also there have been allegations of sexual assault and the use of child labor at these farms.
Driscoll’s is one of America’s largest produce distributors, amounting to roughly a third of the US berry market. These worker conditions have sparked unionization at Driscoll’s farms. A farm worker’s union at their Washington state farm was recently recognized, yet Driscoll’s has refused to recognize the union at their BerryMex farm in San Quintin, Mexico.
As a result of their exploitative practices, a cross-border boycott of Driscoll’s products has been organized. I’m proud that the Yolo County Democratic Party passed a resolution earlier this year in support of the boycott. The workers are demanding reasonable wages and improved conditions, essentially basic worker’s rights. Think of these workers the next time you’re in the store. Americans should all boycott Driscoll’s Berries until this exploitation ends. We must stand by the workers of San Quintin in this struggle for essential human rights and basic human dignity.