The Milk with Dignity Program, founded and created by farmworkers of Migrant Justice, brings together farmworkers, farmers, consumers, and corporate buyers to secure dignified wages and humane labor and housing conditions in the dairy industry in the Northeastern United States. The principal goal of the Milk with Dignity Program is to foster a sustainable Northeast dairy industry that advances the human rights of farmworkers, the long-term interests of farmers, and the ethical supply chain concerns of retail food companies and consumers.
The Milk with Dignity Standards Council (MDSC) is a unique organization emerging from Migrant Justice's successful Milk with Dignity campaign to secure the human rights of dairy workers and improve the conditions under which they labor. The MDSC was established by Migrant Justice to address the Program’s need for an entity with the requisite experience and capacity to monitor and enforce its standards for health and safety, non-discrimination, wages, hours, housing, and other working conditions under the farmworker-defined Code of Conduct. The Code represents Vermont dairy workers' definition of the human right to work with dignity.
The MDSC conducts audits to verify compliance with the Code of Conduct. The MDSC also conducts audits of Participating Buyers to verify compliance with their obligation to pay the Milk with Dignity Premium, which supports farmers' efforts to comply with the program’s requirements, including minimum wages for farmworkers. MDSC also operates a bilingual, 24/7 worker support line to receive complaints and questions from farmworkers and farmers. MDSC fields, investigates, and, when necessary, resolves farmworker complaints and helps to develop corrective action plans to ensure that farms make concrete progress to meet program standards.
The MDSC is located in Burlington, Vermont and has statewide responsibility, with the possibility of expansion.
The Milk with Dignity Program, founded and created by farmworkers of Migrant Justice, brings together farmworkers, farmers, consumers, and corporate buyers to secure dignified wages and humane labor and housing conditions in the dairy…