The time is ripe for change.
There is more interest in food now in the United States than ever before. People are not only concerned with the nutritional quality of food, but where and under what conditions it was grown. Despite all of this interest, however, there is almost no interest in the hands that pick that food.
The irony of this would be excusable were it not for the fact that farmworkers are and have always been amongst the most desperate and vulnerable people in America. It is not just the modern Latino farmworker who has been denied the basic rights afforded to all Americans, we’ve denied these rights at some point to almost every ethnic group of farmworkers.
Native Americans, Africans, Latinos, Asians, Jamaicans, Haitians, Thais, Cambodians, even Punjabis from India have dotted our verdant farmland – working long hours for little pay.
The abuses farm workers endure are seemingly unimaginable in the 21st century. Women are harassed and sometimes raped. Men can pick 4000 pounds of fruit over a 10-hour day, piece by piece in 98 degree weather, and receive paychecks for one third or one fourth the federal minimum wage. Over 1200 farmworkers have been freed from slavery – in Florida – between 2005 and 2012 – actual, modern-day slavery.
Our film makes the connection between consumers and modern abuses. People can exert their power over the food chain as consumers and over the government as citizens to create the economic and legal changes necessary to eradicate this exploitation in our country for good.