Social Justice on Farms
We told you yesterday about bringing diversity to farming... Staying in the same zip code, today we discuss bringing Social Justice to farming.
Healthy food and justice for all need to be united in order to create a food system worth sustaining, according to an organic farmer who pioneered the community-supported agriculture model.
At an upcoming event, Elizabeth Henderson will speak about agrarian (ag-rare-ian) justice, which she has described as connecting soil and human health with social justice and fairness for farms. She said fair prices for family farmers would help them pay fair wages to farmworkers.
"To have a really healthy food system, we have to find a way of ensuring that prices to farmers are high enough that they can pay themselves, and everybody who works on their farms, living wages," Henderson said.
Henderson said farmers and farm laborers should think of themselves as partners with other food workers and support movements such as fast-food workers' fight for $15 an hour.
"When organic farmers stand up for social justice, for better conditions for the people who work on our farms, that makes us really good allies with the other people in the food system who are working for transformation," she said.
Henderson will be a keynote speaker at the Ecological Food and Farm Association's 40th annual conference on Feb. 15.
Henderson noted that allying with other workers gives farmers a bigger base to push for the programs that are making a difference.
"Transforming the food system into one that is more fair, more equitable, allows us as farmers to use the very best ecological practices - growing food with full respect for Mother Earth so that we don't damage the soil on which we all depend," Henderson said.
The conference will run Feb. 14-16. Registration information is online at OEFFA.org.