Letter to the editor: Hannaford should support farm workers and join the Milk With Dignity program

Rising food prices are 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 hard-working migrant dairy farm workers.

Farmworker organization Migrant Justice is calling on Hannaford supermarkets in Maine to support the Milk With Dignity campaign, as Ben and Jerry’s is doing. If Hannaford signed, it would ensure that the dairy products in their stores, the ones we buy, come from farms where basic human rights such as adequate housing, safe working conditions and fair wages are respected.

Hannaford supports local food and healthy eating initiatives. Now is the time to add guaranteed human rights for migrant farm workers to the list of initiatives the company supports. While many Maine farms prioritize the living and working conditions of their farm workers, some do not. There are stories of unsafe housing, unfair pay, lack of free time and lack of safe working conditions. These are not things anyone should tolerate.

Hannaford supermarkets can play a vital role in solving this problem. As a company that benefits from the work of dairy farmers and migrant farm workers, Hannaford should sign up for the Milk With Dignity campaign. It is a moral obligation that Hannaford, a powerful part of the food supply chain, does everything in its power to ensure that those behind the production of the dairy products it distributes are treated fairly.

Mary Dunn
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