A Business Ethics Supply Chain Case Study of Publix Super Markets and the Coalition of Immokalee Farmworkers’ Fair Food Program


This case study presents business ethics students with a real-world business problem related to supply chain issues in the supermarket industry. The issue revolves around the decision of Publix Super Markets (Publix) whether or not to participate in the Fair Food Program (FFP) of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Publix is a very well-respected employer and active member of the communities it serves. The FFF is designed to improve the working conditions of the farm workers who harvest tomatoes by paying an additional penny per pound of tomatoes picked. Publix, which operates more than 1,000 stores, is the single largest purchaser of Florida tomatoes, but does not participate in the FFP Program. Major retailers such as Yum! Brands, Whole Foods Market, and Walmart have signed onto the FFP. Publix has steadily maintained that this issue is a labor dispute and they insist that they will not and should not pay farm workers for their labor. What should Publix do?

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