The management of the chain supermarket retailer Sprouts “Farmers Market” is intimidating and repressing protestors who are speaking out about their greenwashed brand, which is set to pave historic Gill Tract farmland in the East Bay.
One week after a large demonstration at their chain in Walnut Creek, protestors planned a follow-up action for the chain in Petaluma. Over the course of the week before the Petaluma action, Sprouts management sent protestors legal documents suggesting that the parking lot in front of the chain supermarket was not a “free speech” zone, in an attempt to intimidate protestors. On the morning of the protest, the management called for an unprecedented large turnout of police before the first protestors had even arrived, again as an attempt to intimidate. Finally, the Sprouts Management mislead their employees to perceive protestors as violent, telling them false and embellished stories of past protests.
Sprouts is known to be a union-busting grocery store with frequent labor violations. This corporate-style management is not surprising for the chain, despite their “farmers market brand”.
Boycott Sprouts organizers say that they stand with Sprouts employees, who face labor violations in the food system, but they will continue to demonstrate and highlight the greenwashing of the Sprouts corporation, until they pull out of the development of the historic Gill Tract farm.