IMMOKALEE — You've probably heard of the Angry Birds mobile game, but have you thrown an Angry Tomato?
Angry Tomato, the first anti-human trafficking iPhone app, allows users to throw virtual tomatoes at corporations accused of profiting from farmworker exploitation.
The new app is part of an ongoing series of campaigns on Change.org asking Trader Joe’s, Publix, Kroger, Giant, Stop & Shop and other supermarket chains to participate in the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program, which would protect farmworkers from abuses such as modern-day slavery and raise wages a penny per pound of tomatoes picked. Nearly 35,000 people have already signed the online petition campaign targeting Publix.
"Angry Tomato users are making activist art by splattering virtual tomatoes and a request for change across the storefronts of grocery chains that are failing to stand up for farmworkers," said Marc Rodrigues of the Student Farmworker Alliance. "Then, they can share their posters with friends on Facebook and Twitter, sending a powerful message to supermarkets that its time to end farmworker exploitation now."
The Angry Tomato app and accompanying campaign are likely to increase pressure on the supermarket chains which have not committed to the Fair Food Program. Angry Tomato is the first app developed by the Student/Farmworker Alliance for the purpose of promoting consumer advocacy on behalf of farmworkers.
“This is the first time we’ve seen customers using mobile and web app technology to achieve the goals of a campaign on Change.org,” said Amanda Kloer, Director of Organizing for Change.org. “The Student/Farmworker Alliance’s innovative use of emerging technologies for activism and organizing has been remarkable.”
TO ACCESS MOBILE AND WEB VERSIONS OF APP:
■ Web application: http://angrytomato.leapingbytes.com/html/angrytomato.html
■ iPhone application: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/angry-tomato/id465185637?mt=8
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ response to public relations statements by supermarkets:
■ Trader Joe’s: http://www.ciw-online.org/TJ_point_by_point.html
■ Ahold USA: http://www.ciw-online.org/ciw_response_to_ahold.html