Recap: Food Certification Programs for Farmworker Justice

On November 1st, CFF partnered with The Marcus Foundation and SAFSF to host a briefing about the living and working conditions faced by most farmworkers in the US, and food certification programs that are trying to address and ameliorate these issues. Jessica Culley described the work of the Farmworkers Support Committee (CATA), a grassroots member-led organization. CATA was also a founding member of the Agricultural Justice Project that issues the "Food Justice Certified" label. Peter O'Driscoll talked about the Equitable Food Initiative and all it has accomplished in the past five years with its "Responsibly Grown, Farmworker Assured" label that comes only as the result of multi-stakeholder engagement and agreements across the supply chain. And Michael Rozyne talked about his years in the farming and food distribution business with Red Tomato, what it will take to maintain farms in our region, and a pilot project he is engaging in with EFI in Connecticut to explore the model on smaller farms.

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Food Certification Programs for Farmworker Justice, 11/1

Farm workers in a berry field

Although the backbone of our food system, farmworkers are often marginalized in discussions about food and agriculture. Despite the upsurge in interest and consumption of organic, local, or certified produce, the working and living conditions for most farmworkers planting, picking, and packing fresh fruits and vegetables have remained largely as they have been for decades. Examining the nuts and bolts of creating just and equitable food and agriculture systems --- across diverse crops, geography, and scale --- our lunchtime discussion will also look at innovative opportunities for philanthropic resources to leverage the power of markets to drive change.

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