1st Edition

Ending Slavery in the Corporate Supply Chain Storytelling, Leadership, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers

By Richard Herder Copyright 2025
    192 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a Florida-based farmworkers’ cooperative that has received international acclaim for sponsoring anti-slavery investigations. In 2011, they worked with commercial tomato growers to found the Fair Food Program, a private sector agreement that operates according to the principles of worker-driven social responsibility (WSR). Researchers have lauded WSR as an alternative to traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, which have failed to curb human exploitation in global markets. The Fair Food Program has been credited with ending slavery and other human rights abuses in Florida’s tomato industry and is now expanding to other sectors of the food economy in the United States and several other nations. Researchers have called for WSR programs to be included in a “smart mix” of public and private initiatives aimed at abolishing slavery and other types of exploitation in global supply chains. The book introduces a theory of ensemble storytelling to explain how the CIW has been able to animate workers, fight slavery, influence multinational corporations, and expand the Fair Food Program. The phrase ensemble storytelling refers to a set of collective, dynamic storytelling practices. They are described as foundational to the operation of any WSR program.

    Introduction: Understanding the Work of the CIW

    Chapter 1: A History of the CIW: From “Ground Zero for Modern Slavery” to a Model for the World

    Chapter 2: Ensemble Storytelling and the CIW

    Chapter 3: Ethical Supply Chains: The Scandalous Failures of CSR and the Promise of WSR

    Chapter 4: Ensemble Storytelling in the Campaign for Fair Food

    Chapter 5: Worker-Driven Social Responsibility and the Future of Global Supply Chains


    Richard Herder is a professor emeritx of Communication Studies at Southwest Minnesota State University. He has published work in the areas of immigration rhetoric, First Amendment studies, corporate protest rhetoric, and the work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. He became familiar with the work of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers while working as a high school Language Arts teacher in Southwest Florida.