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Farmworkers march to bring a message to Hannaford

Published: May. 1, 2022 at 7:23 PM EDT
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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - A dairy farm worker protest caught shoppers’ attention Sunday.

“Milk with Dignity” is a program created by the farmworker organization Migrant Justice which aims to address what it calls poor conditions in our region’s dairy industry.

Sunday, hundreds of Vermonters participated in a day of action at Hannaford store locations in Middlebury and South Burlington calling on the supermarket to take responsibility for what they call sub-standard conditions in the dairy supply chain and to join their human rights program.

Protesters say they want Hannaford to learn the conditions of farmworkers and for the supermarket to join the Milk with Dignity program.

Protest organizer Thelma Gomez, speaking through an interpreter, said: “We want Hannaford to sit down across the table from farmworkers to hear what the conditions are on the dairy farms where they buy their milk. But it’s not only about hearing the problem, because as workers, we’ve created this solution, as well, because we’re the ones who know what we need and know how to get it and we can provide Hannaford with that solution by them joining the middle.”

More than 30 actions took place at Hannaford locations all throughout the Northeast. Letters were delivered to the Hannafords in South Burlington and Middlebury.

In a statement, Hannaford Stores responded by saying, “Hannaford is committed to ensuring that the products we sell are produced sustainably and responsibly, with concern for the environment, the public health, and worker and human rights.”

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