Following up on NOFA's 2013 survey of 280 NOFA farmers, we will utilize AJP's social justice standards, concentrating on the areas of relations with buyers (fair pricing, developing long term relations, achieving a premium in the marketplace) and relations with employees (health & safety, conflict resolution, and efforts to achieve a living wage).
We hope an initial 50 farms will support our mutual efforts toward achieving a fair and equitable food system by completing a brief survey of your current practices. AJP will provide a summary review of helpful observations and suggestions for potential next steps in absorbing social justice policies and practices, including a list of resources and sample templates if requested. What is critical here is that regardless of further participation by the farm or whether you choose to seek AJP’s Food Justice Certification, both AJP & NOFA want to encourage farmers to begin considering and developing policies and practices relevant to your particular situation which you can begin implementing immediately, and we want to support your efforts at whatever level of engagement, whether through tool-kit resources or through workshops and presentations on specific issues.
From this first subset of farmers, we will identify 20 to complete the AJP self-assessment form, with AJP trainers providing any necessary assistance gratis. Completing this assessment will provide farmers with a clear understanding of how you square up between holding values as ideals and how well they are currently implemented. Whether or not farms choose to engage in AJP’s Food Justice Certification, AJP and NOFA are committed to identifying and providing the levels of technical assistance needed by farmers who want to improve the labor policies and practices for their farms and calculating fair pricing.
And, finally, AJP will select five to ten farms where we will conduct mock audits—also free of charge—to our Food Justice standards. Any of the farmers who participate in the project are welcome to observe one of these audits.
Together we can identify our food justice values, adjust our operations to honor these values, feel proud & economically assured in our farming practices, and transform our food system in the collaborative fashion that rings true for us!
Louis Battalen & Elizabeth Henderson
And visit: www.agriculturaljusticeproject.org