The rising cost of food has been on everyone’s mind. As we grapple with this, we must also consider the working conditions of those who bring us the dairy products we enjoy. Maine has a vibrant farming community, including hardworking migrant dairy farmworkers.

The farmworker organization Migrant Justice is calling on Maine’s Hannaford Supermarkets to support the Milk With Dignity campaign, like Ben and Jerry’s does. If Hannaford signed on, it would guarantee the dairy products in their stores, the ones we purchase, are from farms where basic human rights such as adequate housing, safe working conditions and fair pay are respected.

Hannaford supports local foods and healthy eating initiatives. Now it’s time to add guaranteed human rights for migrant farmworkers to the list of initiatives the company supports. While many farms around Maine prioritize the living and working conditions for their farmworkers, some do not. There are stories of dangerous housing, unfair pay, lack of time off and lack of safe working conditions. These are not things anyone should tolerate.

Hannaford Supermarkets can play a critical role in addressing this. As a corporate business that enjoys profits from the work of dairy farmers and migrant farmworkers, Hannaford should sign on to the Milk With Dignity campaign. It is a moral obligation that Hannaford, a powerful piece of the food supply chain, does all it can to ensure that those who are behind the production of the dairy products it distributes are treated fairly.

Mary Dunn

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