Update on the Driscoll Boycott

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Strawberries
Illustration by Carol Coogan (www.carolcoogandesign.com)

In the May issue of the Voice, I shared the reasons why there was a boycott of Driscoll berries, and in particular of the berries relabeled as Driscoll’s but actually grown by Sakuma Berry Farms.

The Driscoll Boycott has now ENDED!

If you helped by boycotting Driscoll berries, now you can enjoy them again.

On September 12, 2016, following negotiations during the course of the summer, the farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers Berry Farms voted successfully to form a union, Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ). According to the website https://boycottsakumaberries.com, “FUJ is the second independent farmworker union to form in WA in 30 years and the first union led by indigenous workers.”

Here at Nine Mile Farm, we re-use Driscoll boxes for picking and sorting our heirloom tomatoes. They are great boxes well suited to single layers of tender fruits, and we are thrilled to take advantage of their fine quality once again. And, wow! Once berry season here in New York comes to a close we are looking forward to an occasional out-of-area purchase of their best organic berries.

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Michael came to Albany for work at the NYS Legislature in 1986 and joined HWFC soon thereafter (the record of which was later lost).  By the time of his retirement he shamefully took advantage of the senior discount until he finally joined anew about five years ago.  A lifelong Peace and Justice activist, he participated in a sit-in in the Mayor’s Office while a senior in High School in 1946 to (successfully) integrate the public parks in Louisville, KY.  A life-long organic gardener and farmer, he helps his daughter Rebekah operate the Nine Mile Farm and CSA and takes care of the sheep and chickens and digs preparing the copious vegetable beds.