Judge Laura Safer Espinoza directs the Fair Food Standards Council, which monitors and enforces groundbreaking agreements between agricultural workers, growers, and corporate buyers of produce to ensure fundamental human rights for workers in agriculture. The Fair Food Program has been recognized by the White House, the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, numerous international human rights organizations – including Anti-Slavery International of London – the Harvard Business Review and CNN International’s Freedom Project, as one of the “most successful and innovative programs” in the world today, to uncover and prevent modern-day slavery. FFSC enforces a Fair Food Code of Conduct, whose zero tolerance provisions for human trafficking and sexual violence are backed by strong market consequences.
Judge Safer Espinoza is a retired New York State Supreme Court Justice who served in New York and Bronx Counties for twenty years. She also held the position of Deputy Supervising Judge of Bronx County for five years. Justice Safer Espinoza helped to design and became the first presiding judge of an innovative alternative to incarceration court for non-violent offenders. This alternative became a successful national and international model.
Justice Safer Espinoza has an extensive history of work with government, human rights and legal organizations in the United States and Latin America. She has taught and lectured extensively in Latin America, working with numerous organizations – including the U.S. Department of State, the Conference of Western Attorney Generals, law schools, universities, governments and NGOs – to support law reform efforts by training advocates in more transparent legal systems. Starting in 1998, Judge Safer Espinoza helped to design and teach the first oral trial advocacy classes in Temuco, Chile, which then became part of the pilot region for implementation of penal law reform. Judge Safer Espinoza also helped to launch and advise treatment courts in Chile and Brazil, which provide alternatives to incarceration for defendants suffering from drug addiction and/or mental illness. She authored the keystone chapter of Chile’s first book on alternative courts in 2006. From 2009 through 2011, Judge Safer Espinoza designed and directed trainings for thousands of judges and attorneys in Mexico.
Justice Safer Espinoza received her B.A. from Barnard College and her J.D. cum laude from New York Law School. She is a recipient of the City University of New York’s Women in the Law Award and the 2015 Purpose Prize , awarded to distinguished individuals who utilize the experience gained in their prior careers to make a significant impact.