abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

21 Jun 2023

Hannaford’s hotline fails farmworkers

See all tags Allegations

For years, farmworkers have called on Hannaford Supermarkets to take responsibility for the rights and well-being of the workers behind Hannaford-brand milk by joining the Milk with Dignity Program. Hannaford has responded that participation in Milk with Dignity is unnecessary, because the company’s “Standards of Engagement” sufficiently protect workers’ rights. The centerpiece of that claim is Hannaford’s “Speak-Up Line:” following years of farmworkers denouncing deplorable conditions, the supermarket chain launched a hotline for workers in its supply chain.

Over the past year, farmworkers have put Hannaford’s “Speak-Up Line” to the test. Workers on ten farms submitted complaints about abuse and mistreatment. What has their experience shown? On every front, Hannaford’s system has failed to protect farmworker rights.

Farmworkers’ experiences reveal Hannaford’s “Speak-Up Line” as a poor imitation of Milk with Dignity. It lacks the accessibility that makes Milk with Dignity an effective program to protect workers’ rights. The “investigations” conducted in response to workers’ complaints are grossly inadequate and biased, in contrast to Milk with Dignity’s speedy, thorough, and professional investigations. Hannaford has not provided remediation to a single worker’s complaint, as opposed to the hundreds of complaints resulting in remediation on Milk with Dignity farms.

These failures mean that Hannaford has been unable to provide enforceable protections for farmworkers: its much-touted “Standards of Engagement” are meaningless to the workers whose rights are violated daily. Meanwhile, the protections guaranteed by Milk with Dignity are well-documented and incontrovertible.