Ethical eating requires not only knowing where our food comes from, but also working to ensure that the people who work in the food system are treated ethically and paid a living wage.
Large farms in the United States are often reliant on poorly paid labor, frequently to the point of exploitation. Immigrants and migrant workers contribute greatly to the food system while being denied social services and can be exposed to chemical pesticides and fertilizers amongst other health and safety hazards. Fortunately, there are some great organizations working to make sure working conditions improve for farm workers and that they receive fairer wages, and you can help.
- Coalition of Immokalee Workers: An internationally-recognized human rights organization that has been working to eliminate modern-day slavery and sweatshop labor conditions in agriculture in Florida since 1993, led primarily by Latino, Haitian, and Mayan immigrants working in low-wage farmworker jobs.
- Interfaith Worker Justice: A non-denominational non-profit organization that educates, organizes, and mobilizes religious people of all faiths on economic issues and campaigns that will improve wages, benefits, and conditions for workers.
- National Farm Worker Ministry: A faith-based organization supporting farm workers as they organize for empowerment, justice, and equality, as well as serving as a vehicle for people of faith to respond to the call for justice. The organization includes 40 national, state, and local religious bodies and staff in California, Florida, North Carolina, and Oregon. Education and worship resources and information about campaigns are all available on their website.
- Join the Campaign for Fair Food run by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and work towards justice for tomato pickers.
- Work with other congregations in your community on a postcard campaign to send to Kroger, Public, Stop & Shop, Giant, Chipotle, and other large tomato companies.
- Buy and promote Union Label Products – by supporting the labels listed on this website, you can help farm workers maintain hard-won victories around decent wages, benefits, and working conditions. Promoting the products as union label at community potlucks can help educate others about labor victories and further the movement.
For additional resources and links to learn more, see the ethical eating and food justice main page.