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Thanks for the 6th General Assembly

On Sunday, March 17, 2013, FWAF held its 6th General Assembly in the farmworker community of Apopka, Florida.  The purpose of the statewide General Assembly, held every five years, is to:
 
Refocus on FWAF’s mission, vision, and objectives.
Identify and prioritize issues impacting farmworker communities, as presented by local delegations from each of the Farmworker Association’s five regional areas.
Reorganize the priorities of the Farmworker Association, based on community-identified issues, to direct FWAF’s work for the next five years.
The top three priority issues impacting farmworkers and low-income immigrants, as identified by FWAF’s communities, include:  immigration and the need for immigration reform; health and safety in the workplace/pesticide exposure; and economic issues, such as the need for better wages and benefits.  The General Assembly was attended by approximately 300 persons, which included farmworker families, as well as representatives from supportive organizations, including:  Rural Coalition, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Pesticide Action Network of North America, United Farm Workers, Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, State Voices – Florida, National Farm Worker Ministry, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Florida Legal Services, El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas, National Immigrant Farming Initiative, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, War on Poverty – Florida, and La Via Campesina of North America.  In addition, 2013 marks the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Farmworker Association of Florida!  We are proud to be celebrating 30 years of positive and constructive work in, with, and for farmworker communities around the state.   

General Assembly on March 17th

MARCH 17, 2013
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
John Bridges Community Center
445 W 13th St Apopka, FL 32703‎
8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The General Assembly will advance FWAF’s mission to build power within farmworker and rural low-income communities to respond to and gain control over the social, political, economic, workplace, health, and environmental justice issues impacting their lives.
Celebrating 30 years - 1983 - 2013
Download Flier

Whose Pastures of Plenty?

At food voices blog
Every year, thousands of people cross the border from Mexico into the United States to find work in fields that stretch from Maine to Michigan to California to Florida. Each individual's story is different, yet they all come with a dream of a better life. Unfortunately, many struggle while basic human rights are withheld.  The first tenet of food sovereignty is that food is a basic human right. "Food: A Basic Human Right. Everyone must have access to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food in sufficient quantity and quality to sustain a healthy life with full human dignity."

Farmworker women raising their voice

Vigilia a favor del amor
Unamonos por los derechos de la mujer campesina
Febrero 14, at 450 Davis Park Ave.
Florida City, Fl 33034
Download Flier

Giving Thanks to Farmworkers Dinner

The Farmworker Association of Florida Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Ethnic food, entertainment, displays, conversation, and solidarity
St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church
Winter Park, FL
for more information, contact 407-886-5151
or email Chris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Download Flier

The Human Cost of Fruits and Vegetables

(by Rosa ramirez, at National Journal)

 

1: At least one farm laborer dies each day while picking fruits and vegetables for U.S. consumption.

2%: The share of unionized farmworkers in the U.S.

$10,000: The starting average individual income for a farmworker is between $10,000 and $12,499, while the family household income is between $15,000 and $17,499.

 

Americans pay relatively little for fresh fruits and vegetables year round, in part because of the work done by farmworkers. But a new study by the Center for Progressive Reform titled “At the Company’s Mercy: Protecting Contingent Workers from Unsafe Working Conditions,” reveals the true human and economic cost of weak workplace regulations.

Immigrants Call for End to Deportations in U.S.

(article written By Jorge Bañales, taken from Latin American Herald Tribune)

 

WASHINGTON – Thirteen immigrants including a number of farm workers, who had traveled 1,600 kilometers (995 miles) in a caravan from Florida, called Tuesday in the U.S. capital for President Barack Obama to stop deportations and for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

The Caravan in the Washington Post

Farmworkers travel to D.C. to keep spotlight on immigration

 

By Tara Bahrampour, Published: January 21

 

Most of President Obama’s inaugural address was inaudible on the faulty Jumbotron at the Washington Monument, but toward the end one snippet came through clearly: “Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity.”

Tirso Moreno, from the "Forward With Your Promise Caravan"

 

 

Este activista marcha a Washington desde Florida. Los inmigrantes y sus familias están cansados de ser perseguidos y de ser criminalizados, por lo tanto personas de pequeñas comunidades así como de grandes ciudades están abogando por sí mismos, y alzando sus voces pidiendo a Obama que cumpla con su promesa.

Forward with your Promise caravan in Orlando

Marchers Gathered in the Hall of the City of Orlando, to inform the press about the Forward With Your Promise caravan that heads to Washington D.C. Then they visited offices of Senator Rubio, where they were received by an employee.

Marchers Gather in Apopka

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://floridafarmworkers.org/?start=140#sigProGalleria1cb2ee31d5
Marchers Gather in Apopka on their Way to Washington, D.C.
Their Message to Senator Marco Rubio and President Obama:
 Justice for the Country's Immigrants
 
What  :   Beginning of the Forward-With-Your-Promise Caravan
When :  January 3rd , 2012, 4:30 pm
Where:  Kit Land Nelson Park
              105 E. First Street (Corner of Park Avenue & First Street), Apopka, FL 32703
 
Apopka, FL - On Thursday, January 3rd, at 4:30 pm, immigrants' rights advocates and their supporters will kick off the 1,000-mile Forward-With-Your-Promise Caravan from Central Florida to Washington, D. C.  The marchers will gather at Kit Land Nelson Park in Apopka at 4:30 and walk two miles to the office of the Farmworker Association of Florida (1264 Apopka Blvd, Apopka, FL) for an immigrants' rights rally to kick-off the caravan to D.C.

“JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS”

CARAVAN  & MARCH from ORLANDO to Washington, DC

Letter of Endorsement

Dear Community Organizations, Labor Unions, Religious Leaders, Business Leaders, Activists, and Concerned Citizens:

The Farmworker Association of Florida and the Florida Coordinating Committee are calling on you to join together in a Caravan and March from Orlando, FL to Washington, DC beginning January 3, 2013 and arriving in Washington, DC on January 20, 2013.  With farmworkers and immigrants from Orlando to Washington, DC, the caravan will stop in key cities along the way, culminating with a march on the capitol and a religious ceremony to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and linking the cause of justice for immigrants to the historic civil rights movement.  Download Letter of Endorsement.

A Community Feast in the Garden!

A Community Feast in the Garden!
View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://floridafarmworkers.org/?start=140#sigProGalleria71925e071f
Friday, Dec 14th at Apopka’s Billie Dean Community Garden, the Farmworker Association of Florida, the East Central Florida Regional Policy Council, and the Big Potato Foundation hosted the Apopka Fall Harvest Luncheon.  The purpose of the gathering was to bring together community members and other diverse stakeholders to get a firsthand look at local food initiatives in Apopka.  Surrounded by the beautiful and lush crops in the garden beds, nearly 40 participants enjoyed a salad of fresh vegetables harvested from the garden, fruit salad, tacos, ginger tea, and fresh lemonade.  The participants included low-income community members, garden members, and representatives from local government, health care facilities, faith-based groups, community groups, and an ethnic food retailer.  Also joining the event was a local hydroponic lettuce grower who explained how their operation works to grow and supply lettuce to local restaurants in Orlando.

A Great Day in the Garden!

 

Getting our hands dirty for La Causa!

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://floridafarmworkers.org/?start=140#sigProGalleria3485be07a1
On Saturday, Dec 8th at Apopka’s Billie Dean Community Garden, a group of volunteers spent the morning cleaning up the garden and the area around it. 
The Farmworker Association of Florida has been recruiting community members in the South Apopka area to get involved in producing their own fresh, healthy, organic food for themselves and their families.  With our partner group, East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, along with a diverse group of stakeholders in Apopka, FWAF has been working over the last two years to implement the Apopka Community Food Assessment Project.  The assessment’s objective is to identify the barriers that low-income families, including farmworkers that live in the area, face in accessing fresh produce and to develop a plan to increase their fresh food intake, as well as to provide the opportunities to improve low-income families' access to healthy, fresh, and locally-grown produce.   Farmworker families deserve to have healthy food to raise healthy families.

The ambitious volunteers on Saturday included Sabrina Collins of FAMU Law School and her family; Claudine Martinez of Rollins Grad School and her family; and National Farm Worker Ministry Youth and Young Adult (YAYA) Network members: Megan Murphy, Brian Luft, Emily Helm, Nicole Godreau, Nico Gumbs, and Heather Graves and her mom, Valerie.  They were joined by FWAF staff members and organizers for the day, Holly Baker and Ana Trevino; garden member, Blanca Moreno; and several other garden members.

On Friday, December 14th, the partner groups will host an Apopka Fall Harvest luncheon to continue their work on improving Apopka's food system.  For more information on this project, please contact Holly Baker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (321)474-8413.
Where you Grow Your own Vegetables, organically!
The garden is located at 100 E. 9th Street in Apopka, with room for 80 raised beds which can be individually rented for $20 per year, which includes compost, water and professional advice and education.  And, no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are allowed! The Integrated Pest Management program is used throughout the garden.   

A good time was had by all!

On INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Stand Up for Human Rights for Farmworkers!


On this day - International Human Rights Day – we are calling on all our friends, colleagues, supporters and all those who love and believe in justice and respect human dignity to take a stand for the human rights of farmworkers – in this country and across the globe.  We take this stand in solidarity with not just farmworkers, but with human communities around the world whose lives and livelihoods have been impacted by exposure to harmful pesticides.  Men, women and children must have the human right to health, to a safe environment, to their livelihood, and to life itself – as basic and inherent human rights.  In affirmation of this, one year ago in December 2011, on the anniversary of the Bhopal incident in India, the Permanent Peoples Tribunal issued a verdict against the six largest chemical companies for violating these human rights through their practices of the manufacture, distribution, and promotion of toxic chemical pesticides that are harmful to people and to the very environment that they live in.

Today, a coalition of groups is sending a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor – Michael Posner – and presenting him with the verdict of the PPT against the Big Six pesticide companies – BASF, Bayer, Dow, Dupont, Monsanto and Syngenta.  The letter says,

“We look now to your office as the bearer of an immense responsibility - protecting and promoting democracy, human rights, and the rights of labor - and urge you to take decisive action based on your mandate and the global human rights crises that are clearly being perpetrated daily by the pesticide industry, to signal that the US will play a leadership role in addressing these egregious violations.”

Join us in taking this call to Mr. Posner.  You can help right now by joining with others in sending a message that there must be action to protect human and natural communities from illness, disease, and even death from pesticide exposure.  Across the country, allies will be sending tweets to Mr. Posner.  Join us today and take a stand for International Human Rights.

Tweet your support for human rights!  Sample Tweets:  

  • Worldwide 355,000 people die from #pesticide exposure every year. Almost 1,000 a day! #humanrights @UNrightswire @State_DRL bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • Farmworkers risk their health every day in order to feed us.  We must protect their human right to health.#humanrights @UNrightswire @State_DRL bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • #Big6pesticide #chemical corporations violate #humanrights - It’s time to hold them accountable @UNrightswire @State_DRL bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • @State_DRL Please show a leadership role addressing #Big6pesticide #chemical corporations #humanrights violations bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • @UNrightswire #humanrights violated by #Big6pesticide #chemical corps worldwide from Arctic Yupik to Florida Farmworkers bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • Protect #humanrights and #health from #chemical #Big6pesticide drift @UNrightswire @State_DRL bit.ly/TwkkBX
  • Yupik witness statement on #Big6pesticide #chemical corps violation of #humanrights @UNrightswire @State_DRL – video bit.ly/YT76HF

County’s first Certified Organic farm

By Carrie A. Mizell at gilchristcountyjournal

The Family Garden, a certified organic farm owned by Jordan Brown of Bell is now marketing sweet potato, bell pepper, eggplant, greens, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, radish, hot peppers, sweet peppers, kale and collards.
Brown uses no synthetic fertilizers on the 25 acres of land he plants each year. Instead, the South Florida native builds the soil with manure, cover crops and fertilizer from animal waste.

Pests and diseases are managed with crop rotation and diversity, timing plantings correctly and microbial applications formulated to fight targets pests and promote health.
Every fruit and vegetable that is grown at The Family Garden is Certified Organic and something that Jordan and Diwa Brown feel good about feeding their four children.

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