Farm and Food Chain Workers: Equity and Justice in the Food System
November 6, 2020
SiX Main Takeaways
Farmworkers make up just one link of the food supply chain—there's also processing, distribution, retail, and restaurant and service workers. In total, 21.5 million people are food chain workers in this country. Policies should take into account all types of food chain workers.
Food and farmworkers are some of the lowest-paid and exploited workers in the country because they are not covered by many federal labor laws. State legislators can fill in the gaps where the federal system has failed.
Protecting food workers means more than just raising wages because workers are also endangered by heat, toxic chemical exposure, substandard housing, COVID-19, smoke from wildfires, and more. Some states have already passed bills to address these problems.
Even in states with progressive legislatures, large growers and other agricultural interests have a lot of influence at the state house. Changing the system requires buy-in from a variety of stakeholders.
The best policies will come from including farm and food workers at the table. These are skilled laborers and they know what policies are necessary.
National grassroots coalitions can help connect legislators to farm and food worker organizations in every state. SiX can help connect you!