It’s a long drive from Florida to Denver, but Leonel Perez and his colleagues at the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) don’t mind. In fact, they arrived in the Mile High City three weeks early for Cultivate, a food, beer, and music festival sponsored by Chipotle Mexican Grill.
They were not drawn by a love of burritos. In the days leading up to Cultivate, Perez, Jake Ratner, an organizer for Just Harvest USA, and several other CIW organizers will hold dozens of community events, speak at many churches, and give classroom presentations at all Denver’s major universities. Then, on Oct. 6, the day of the festival, Perez will build a giant stack of tomato buckets just outside the festival to represent the daily toil of 30,000 impoverished tomato workers.
Over the last decade, Perez and others at CIW have pressured major food companies like McDonald’s, Whole Foods, and Sodexho…
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