Saru Jayaraman: “Who Controls the Food Industry? Corporations or People?”

From foodtank.com, by Sarah Small
Saru Jayaraman: “Who Controls the Food Industry? Corporations or People?”

Day Two at the Food Tank Summit began with an opening address given by co-founder and co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, Saru Jayaraman. Jayaraman, who is also the director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley, detailed how ROC’s mission to “believe in better wages and conditions in the food system” began soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks, with the destruction of the restaurant Windows on the World and the subsequent loss of jobs. She went on to describe one of the problems of the food industry: although it employs over 20 million people, “the food system and the restaurant industry is by far the lowest-paying employer in the United States.” She called for change within the food industry, specifically in regards to the low wages and bad conditions experienced by restaurant employees. Jayaraman ended her introduction by asking the audience a question: “Who controls the food industry? Corporations or people?”

Written by Maggie Roth, JMU Student/Food Tank Volunteer

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