According to the Food Chain Workers Alliance, over 20 million people work in the food system in the U.S., and millions more around the world toil in the food sector. These workers are among the most exploited and poorest in the world, planting, harvesting, processing, packing, transporting, preparing, serving, and selling food. Labor justice efforts include supporting farmworkers both at home and abroad and strengthens food workers’ ability to organize by transforming both institutions and markets to provide livable wages and safe and equitable workplaces. A number of initiatives are emerging to advance the rights of workers in the food chain.
FLO has launched an initiative that looks promising, known as the Advisory Committee on Workers’ Rights and Empowerment (WRAC), to advance worker empowerment on fair trade farms.
Labor unions, like the Teamsters, have taken proactive steps towards bridging the divide between organized workers and other fair and green movements, including offering solid recommendations for improving standards on fair trade farms as well as advancing green jobs and sustainable supply chains.
The AJP Food Justice Certified standard also addresses farm labor in North America. Farmworker organizations, like Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas/Farmworker Support Committee (CATA), guide and advocate for these standards.
As noted above, IMO certifies entire supply chains to ensure national and international worker, labor, health and safety standards are met.