“Although we are very diverse, we all treat each other with respect… and because of this, our crew is a great place to work.”

Dear friends,

To say that these are troubling times is an acute understatement.  It seems that every day we slide further down the slope toward a deeply dysfunctional new world, one in which the political norms and social advances once considered irreversible are dismantled, one by one, before our very eyes.

But troubling times often bring out the best in people of good conscience and good will.  Even as our civil and human rights are endangered on a national level, action taken by individuals and communities are fortifying and expanding those same rights on a local level.  In the face of painful day-to-day degradations to our society, many of us ask ourselves: What can I do?  How can I help stem the tide?

Becoming a Fair Food Sustainer is something you can do right now to defend and protect the rights of some of the most vulnerable people in our country today, the very communities who find themselves most under attack across the nation.  

Far too often – and for far too long – those who belong to communities marginalized by society face an uphill battle at work.  And yet, when they report any abuse, those workers (across many industries) find they have nowhere to turn and no access to justice, which has long been locked away from them by powerful cultural and legal barriers with centuries-deep roots.

It is certainly important to reject the dehumanization of women, people of color, immigrants, indigenous activists, members of the LGBTQ community, or anyone else.  But it is not enough.  We must actively build the world we want to see – one rooted in mutual respect and equal rights for everyone, regardless of who you are, where you came from, or whom you love.

The Fair Food Program is one of the few movements that is not only defending its progress over the past decade, but is continuing to gain ground:  this very summer, we are ready to extend the Program’s protections from the East Coast into Texas.  Against all odds, the Fair Food Program’s powerful set of tools is reshaping the landscape of American agriculture.  With each resolved complaint, each in-depth audit, each interactive education session on the farm, what was once a grossly uneven and dangerous terrain is being transformed.

In 2016, one Haitian farmworker reported a field supervisor who he believed was discriminating against Haitians.  After the Fair Food Standards Council worked with the grower’s staff to resolve the complaint, the worker expressed his relief:

“Thank you for helping get this enormous weight off my chest. I feel like a tractor-trailer has been lifted off me. The work is difficult, but it is fine when we all get along. I was tired of going to work thinking ‘what is going to happen today’?”

Similarly, one transgender worker spoke at length about the respect that she and others on her crew receive:

“Although we are very diverse, we all treat each other with respect… and because of this, our crew is a great place to work.”

That these words are used to describe work in U.S. agriculture today – an industry rooted centuries ago in the myth of white supremacy, an industry where today modern-day slavery and sexual assault still haunt the fields – is nothing short of astounding.  It also speaks volumes about the power and potential of the Program, and consumers like you, without whom it would not succeed.

By growing the Fair Food Program, we can begin to build the future we believe in, and resist the pressure to slide backwards into the world of first- and second-class citizenship we have worked so hard to leave behind.  Protections for basic civil and human rights are needed now more than ever – and we have a proven model to provide that protection to some of this country’s poorest workers through the Fair Food Program.  

But it cannot grow without your help as a Fair Food Sustainer.  Sign up today!