It takes people to get food from the fields to your table. And often those people work under difficult and dangerous conditions, for low pay.
Farmworkers are often excluded from laws that protect other workers. And even when they are included, the laws are often not well enforced. Labor unions can provide the function of negotiating better pay and conditions on behalf of workers they represent. But truth be told, union membership on farms is low, in part because of anti-union organizing.
How do you know which brands source their agricultural products from producers who treat, and pay, their workers fairly?
A new report from the Fair World Project (FWP), a project of OCA, evaluates seven certification programs that provide consumers with at least some level of transparency around how a particular brand’s supply chain treats agricultural workers. FWP evaluated the certification programs based on the criteria farms must meet, how these standards are enforced and what role farmworkers and their representatives play in both program development and on-farm enforcement.
Out of the seven programs FWP evaluated, the group recommends two: Agricultural Justice Project’s Food Justice Certified, and Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program. FWP recommended two others, but with qualifications: Equitable Food Initiative’s Responsible Grown, Farmworker Assured, and Fairtrade International’s Fairtrade Certified.