Monday, October 5, 2015

Living wages and family-owned tilapia suppliers, the sequel

Remember my post from July about Quixotic Farming, a family-owned supplier of tilapia to Whole Foods, HyVee, and other grocers? In their heartwarming story, they kinda sorta didn't really promote the fact that their tilapia were farmed by Colorado prison labor.

According to WTOP, Whole Foods has decided not to carry the product (or a similar product, prisoner-produced goat cheese) any more.

Whole Foods will stop selling products made using a prison labor program after a protest against the practice at one of its stores in Texas.

The company said the products should be out of its stores by April 2016, if not sooner. Whole Foods said it has sold tilapia and goat cheese produced through a Colorado inmate program at some stores since at least 2011.

But will this satisfy the prison reform advocates? After all, when Whole Foods was buying the product, prison labor was getting as little as 74 cents an hour. But if everyone discontinues using the product, the prisoners will get zero dollars an hour - which doesn't really help decrease recidivism rates.
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