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FarmWorker Victory vs. Taco Bell

Posted 3/9/05

United Students for Fair Trade
(571) 247-7247

Lucas Benitez, CIW/239-503-0133
Julia Perkins, CIW/239-986-0891

Laurie Schalow, Taco Bell Corp.
949-863-3915 or onsite at 949-637-1153


CIW to end Taco Bell boycott; Taco Bell to pay penny-per-pound surcharge
demanded by workers, will work with CIW to raise farm labor standards in
supply chain, across industry as a whole

March 8, 2005 (IMMOKALEE/LOUISVILLE) - In a precedent-setting move,
fast-food industry leader Taco Bell Corp., a division of Yum! Brands
(NYSE: YUM), has agreed to work with the Florida-based farm worker
organization, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), to address the
wages and working conditions of farmworkers in the Florida tomato

Taco Bell announced today that it will fund a penny per pound
"pass-through" with its suppliers of Florida tomatoes, and will
undertake joint efforts with the CIW on several fronts to improve
working conditions in Florida's tomato fields. For its part, the CIW has
agreed to end its three-year boycott of Taco Bell, saying that the
agreement "sets a new standard of social responsibility for the
fast-food industry."

"As an industry leader, we are pleased to lend our support to and work
with the CIW to improve working and pay conditions for farmworkers in
the Florida tomato fields," said Emil Brolick, Taco Bell president. "We
recognize that Florida tomato workers do not enjoy the same rights and
conditions as employees in other industries, and there is a need for
reform. We have indicated that any solution must be industry-wide, as
our company simply does not have the clout alone to solve the issues
raised by the CIW, but we are willing to play a leadership role within
our industry to be part of the solution," Brolick added.

Taco Bell has recently secured an agreement with several of its
tomato-grower suppliers, who employ the farmworkers, to pass-through the
company-funded equivalent of one-cent per pound directly to the workers.

"With this agreement, we will be the first in our industry to directly
help improve farmworkers' wages," added Brolick, "And we pledge to make
this commitment real by buying only from Florida growers who pass this
penny per pound payment entirely on to the farmworkers, and by working
jointly with the CIW and our suppliers to monitor the pass-through for
compliance. We hope others in the restaurant industry and supermarket
retail trade will follow our leadership." Yum! Brands and Taco Bell will
also work with the CIW to help ensure that Florida tomato pickers enjoy
working terms and conditions similar to those that workers in other
industries enjoy. CIW/Taco Bell Resolution Page 2

"We are challenging our tomato suppliers to meet those higher standards
and will seek to do business with those who do," said Jonathan Blum,
senior vice president, Yum! Brands. "We have already added language to
our Supplier Code of Conduct to ensure that indentured servitude by
suppliers is strictly forbidden, and we will require strict compliance
with all existing laws. Finally, we pledge to aid in efforts at the
state level to seek new laws that better protect all Florida tomato
farmworkers," added Blum.

The Company indicated that it believes other restaurant chains and
supermarkets, along with the Florida Tomato Committee, should join in
seeking legislative reform, because "human rights are universal and we
hope others will follow our company's lead."

"This is an important victory for farmworkers, one that establishes a
new standard of social responsibility for the fast-food industry and
makes an immediate material change in the lives of workers. This sends a
clear challenge to other industry leaders," said Lucas Benitez, a leader
of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.

"Systemic change to ensure human rights for farmworkers is long-overdue.
Taco Bell has now taken an important leadership role by securing the
penny per pound pass-through from its tomato suppliers, and by the other
efforts it has committed to undertake to help win equal rights for
farmworkers," Benitez added. "We now call on the National Council of
Churches, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Robert F. Kennedy Memorial
Center for Human Rights and other organizations to join the CIW and end
their boycott of Taco Bell, and to recognize the Company by supporting
its ongoing leadership in our fight against human rights abuses. But our
work together is not done. Now we must convince other companies that
they have the power to change the way they do business and the way
workers are treated."

Representatives from the Carter Center assisted the discussions and
resolution between the two organizations. "I commend the Coalition of
Immokalee Workers for their principled leadership in this very important
campaign. I am pleased Taco Bell has taken a leadership role to help
reform working conditions for Florida farmworkers and has committed to
use its power to effect positive human rights change. I now call on
others in the industry to follow Taco Bell's lead to help the tomato
farmworkers," said former President Jimmy Carter.

Taco Bell Corp., based in Irvine, California, is a subsidiary of Yum!
Brands, Inc. and the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service
restaurant chain serving tacos, burritos, signature Quesadillas, Border
Bowls(r), nachos and other specialty items. In 2004, Taco Bell purchased
approximately 10 million pounds of Florida tomatoes, representing less
than one percent of Florida's tomato production. Taco Bell serves more
than 35 million consumers each week in more than 6,500 restaurants in
the U.S.

CIW is a membership-led organization of agricultural workers based in
Immokalee, Florida, that seeks justice for farmworkers and promotes
their fair treatment in accordance with national and international labor
standards. Among its accomplishments, the CIW has aided in the
prosecution of five slavery operations by the Department of Justice and
the liberation of over 1,000 workers. The CIW uses creative methods to
educate consumers about human rights abuses in the U.S. agriculture
industry, corporate social responsibility, and how consumers can help
workers realize their social change goals.