Wicked equation: Living Wages + Farm viability + Access to Good Food for Low Income Families ?  

Our food system has been built on systemic racism, a culture of division, a highly skewed power dynamic, valuing profit over people and the planet, and lack of transparency. There are a number of solutions that work to dismantle these root causes of injustice in the food system.  This workshop will focus on illustrating how the experiences of those who labor in the different sectors of the food system are related to each other and to these underlying mechanisms of injustice including those of farmworkers, farm interns, family scale and organic farmers, chicken processing plant line workers, restaurant workers, and mom and pop and independent food stores, and eaters.  The illustration of the broad scale of current injustices in our food system will be further reinforced by sector-based statistics on racial, economic, and health disparities, as well as concentration of power and market share in the food system.  This workshop will discuss the overlaps and gaps between organic and what is needed to transform the food system into one that is fair for all.  It will outline some of the solutions and the ways in which they align with each other and with organics.  One of which is the grassroots work of farmworker and indigenous farmers and how their use of agroecology promotes food sovereignty.  Another of which is the work of the Agricultural Justice Project and why AJP has taken a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector approach to working towards justice in the food system and the experience of one of the local farms that that has adopted this strategy. 

 

  Leah Cohen,  Agricultural Justice Project  Leah Cohen is the General Coordinator for the Agricultural Justice Project. She first became aware of working and living conditions of farm labor within U.S. agriculture in 1995 as an intern driving a mobile dental clinic serving migrant camps in northwest agricultural fields. After traveling abroad as a volunteer coffee picker for a Nicaraguan cooperative and as an ambulance driver for the Nicaraguan non-profit Casa Materna serving high-risk pregnant women from the country-side, she became grounded again in the farm worker conditions in the Southeast U.S. as a moderator of the 1998 University of Florida Sowing Seeds for Change Symposium session on “Where Farmworkers Live.” Her experience with the Agricultural Justice Project began in 2004 with development of the verification system for certification as a consultant for Quality Certification Services and continued with development of the certifier training module and workshop that trained the Midwest Organic Services Association, Inc.  She has a personal interest in and commitment to working towards justice in society in general and specifically in the areas of racial, economic, gender, sexuality, and education justice. 

Leah Cohen, Agricultural Justice Project

Leah Cohen is the General Coordinator for the Agricultural Justice Project. She first became aware of working and living conditions of farm labor within U.S. agriculture in 1995 as an intern driving a mobile dental clinic serving migrant camps in northwest agricultural fields. After traveling abroad as a volunteer coffee picker for a Nicaraguan cooperative and as an ambulance driver for the Nicaraguan non-profit Casa Materna serving high-risk pregnant women from the country-side, she became grounded again in the farm worker conditions in the Southeast U.S. as a moderator of the 1998 University of Florida Sowing Seeds for Change Symposium session on “Where Farmworkers Live.” Her experience with the Agricultural Justice Project began in 2004 with development of the verification system for certification as a consultant for Quality Certification Services and continued with development of the certifier training module and workshop that trained the Midwest Organic Services Association, Inc.  She has a personal interest in and commitment to working towards justice in society in general and specifically in the areas of racial, economic, gender, sexuality, and education justice. 

  Jeannie Economos,  Farmworker Association of Florida  Jeannie has worked on farmworker, environmental justice and immigrants' rights issues with the Farmworker Association of Florida for over 16 years.  She is currently the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator for the organization.  In her work, she helps conduct trainings for farmworkers and health care providers on the health and safety risks of pesticide exposure, and how farmworkers can better protect themselves and the role of health care professionals in the community.  She participates in community-based participatory research projects with academic institutions looking at occupational health hazards for farmworkers, and is engaged in policy work to advocate for stronger regulations to protect farmworkers from pesticide exposure.  Her work encompasses advocating for alternatives to conventional, chemical-intensive agriculture to more sustainable and agroecological approaches to food and crop production to protect both people and the planet.  She is also the coordinator of the Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial Quilt Project.   

Jeannie Economos, Farmworker Association of Florida

Jeannie has worked on farmworker, environmental justice and immigrants' rights issues with the Farmworker Association of Florida for over 16 years.  She is currently the Pesticide Safety and Environmental Health Project Coordinator for the organization.  In her work, she helps conduct trainings for farmworkers and health care providers on the health and safety risks of pesticide exposure, and how farmworkers can better protect themselves and the role of health care professionals in the community.  She participates in community-based participatory research projects with academic institutions looking at occupational health hazards for farmworkers, and is engaged in policy work to advocate for stronger regulations to protect farmworkers from pesticide exposure.  Her work encompasses advocating for alternatives to conventional, chemical-intensive agriculture to more sustainable and agroecological approaches to food and crop production to protect both people and the planet.  She is also the coordinator of the Lake Apopka Farmworker Memorial Quilt Project.

 

  Jordan Brown,  the Family Garden  Jordan Brown is the farmer and founder of The Family Garden located in Gainesville, FL. Jordan grows Certified FAIR & Organic fruits and vegetables selling both wholesale to local restaurants and other businesses in North Florida and direct to consumers at the Alachua County Farmers Market and through a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, program.

Jordan Brown, the Family Garden

Jordan Brown is the farmer and founder of The Family Garden located in Gainesville, FL. Jordan grows Certified FAIR & Organic fruits and vegetables selling both wholesale to local restaurants and other businesses in North Florida and direct to consumers at the Alachua County Farmers Market and through a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, program.