64.1 F
Bellingham
Sunday, May 24, 2020

AS boycotts Driscoll’s Berries

Driscoll’s Berries has officially been boycotted by the Associated Students, decided in the final AS Board of Director’s meeting on Wednesday, June 9.

A resolution was signed by AS confirming their boycotting of the berry provider Driscoll’s, the leading supplier in the world as of the beginning of June.

Driscoll’s has come under fire for their alleged mistreatment of their farm workers at farms such as Sakuma Brothers in Whatcom County.

Picket lines, walk outs and litigations have since been organized. the most successful rose to the Washington Supreme Court in 2013 and resulted in state-mandated paid rest breaks. This past April, Western students picketed outside of Costco speaking out against Driscoll’s.

“We think it’s really important that students voices get involved in this fight, and our AS represent the student body as a whole,” freshman Emma Bigongiari said.

Bigongiari and three other members of WWU Students for Farmworker Justice sat at the meeting to discuss the issue.

Because the AS doesn’t have the power to bar the berry provider from campus food sources, their resolution acts more as a symbolic exercise of free speech.

“It does show that when students are putting forth the effort and work toward substantial change, they could do it.”

Abby Ramos, VP for Diversity

Board adviser Eric Alexander suggested the board deliberate on the symbolism of the resolution, potentially shifting the focus from the individual company to the broader labor practices in question.

“Pertaining to the university, it’s more so saying that students are speaking up about this,” said AS Vice President for Diversity, Abby Ramos.

The university screens comments and inquiries from students regarding issues on campus and relays them to the AS, Ramos said.

“We’re supporting students,” Ramos said. “Because of that, the university should be listening to that and doing something about it.”

At this time, Aramark, Western’s primary food provider, doesn’t use any Driscoll’s products in their supply chain.

Ramos said she acknowledges there are multiple avenues to change.

The Real Food Campus Commitment was signed by President Shepard in April, pledging that “real food” would comprise at least 20 percent of Western’s food supply by 2020. 

Real food is food harvested fairly and humanely that meets both local and economically standards, Bigongiari said.

The program took five years of campaigning to come to Western and currently spans colleges across the country.

Groups like the Food Systems Working Group are able to slowly pick out the unfairly produced food from Western’s plates, replacing it with locally harvested meat, fruit and vegetables through the program.

The group continues to picket and hold demonstrations for changes in our food supply Bigongiari said.

“It does show that when students are putting forth the effort and work toward substantial change, they could do it,” Ramos said.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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

3,950FansLike
1,234FollowersFollow
5,458FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Sports: Pros and cons of Seahawks’ NFL draft pick Malik McDowell

Why did the Seahawks go after a defensive tackle with their first selection in the 2017 NFL draft? Coming off...

Resident advisers hold open forum with university officials to discuss concerns

Written by: Bram Briskorn and Questen Inghram Over 300 people packed into Arntzen Hall, room 100 as if it were...

Bellingham chef delivers meals to the vulnerable during COVID-19

Illustration of Ona Lee, chef and founder of Clara's Canning Co., with food, trees and flowers....

Latest News

Bellingham artist creates Washington-themed board game printed on bandanna

Bradley James Lockhart’s Evergreen Bandana Game surpasses its Kickstarter goal by over $9,000

City of Bellingham forecasts a $9.6 million deficit for 2020’s budget

Bellingham City Councilmember Pinky Vargas stated that these forecasts “seem a little optimistic.” An illustration...

Spring student art exhibit postponed

Bachelors of Fine Art student exhibit postponed until Sept. 23 The Bachelors of Fine...

Makeworth Market makes it work

Bellingham business celebrates one-year anniversary amidst COVID-19 restrictions The exterior of Makeworth Market dressed with balloons...

SAIRC provides student support

Campus organization puts on digital events and resources spring quarter A display of the AS...

More Articles Like This