The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has joined the National Council of Churches, Presbyterian Church, and United Church of Christ to urge McDonald's to insist that its tomato suppliers pay higher wages.
Since Florida produces the majority of McDonald's US tomatoes, the bishops want the fast-food restaurant giant to arrange a deal between Florida growers and the chief pickers union. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers represents Florida's immigrant farmworkers.
Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell, reached a similar agreement in 2005.
The head of the Conference of Catholic Bishop's Domestic Policy Committee, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, has sent an open letter to McDonald's on the issue. He told the company that with “substantial purchasing power, you can insist that your produce suppliers meet high ethical standards in how they treat their workers.”