Food Justice Certification Gains Momentum

By Agricultural Justice Project

The Agricultural Justice Project plans to transform the existing unjust food system to one that is based on thriving, ecological family-scale farms that provide well-being for farmers, dignified work for wage laborers, and that distributes its benefits fairly throughout the food chain from seed to table.

As a first step towards this ambitious goal, AJP is launching domestic fair trade in the United States with a social justice label, Food Justice Certified. This new label allows family-scale farms to distinguish their products from industrialized organic products.

Twenty one people representing four organic certification agencies and five farm worker organizations took part in the May 3-5, 2011 training in Eugene, Oregon, which included formal presentations on AJP standards and policies, and three practice inspections on area farms and a business.

Management Committee member Sally Lee explained, “A Memo of Understanding with AJP will allow the certification agencies to offer our domestic fair trade certification to farms and food businesses across North America. A unique feature of the AJP system requires the trained certification inspectors to cooperate with representatives of farm worker organizations in performing the third party verification.”

The standards for this label are based on the complementary principles of fair pricing for the farmer and just working conditions for farm and food business workers resulting in a win/win/win/win scenario in which workers, farmers, buyers, and ultimately consumers all benefit.

AJP’s food justice certification covers fair conditions and relationships for:

• Farmers and Buyers
• Farmworkers and Food Business Workers
• Farm Interns
• Children on Farms
• Protection of the environment (organic and sustainable farming practices)
• A way for all people who labor in the food system to have a way to submit a complaint and a dependable process for resolving conflicts.

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