Farm Aid’s mission is to support family farmers. One of the ways we fulfill that mission is by promoting good food from family farms. We know that the more demand we can create for food from family farms, the more opportunities there are for family farmers to thrive.
Farmers markets and other direct sale methods represent a tremendous market for family farm products. But family farming can’t survive without the support of companies that access larger markets, like grocery store chains, food service companies, and public institutions. Many of these companies are creating important markets for family farmers, and we believe that the Good Food Movement must incorporate increased participation by food-related companies in order to advance the reach of family farm food.
Understanding how important these companies are to the future of family farming, Farm Aid accepts sponsorship dollars from food-related companies who pay family farmers a fair price, have an ecological standard for farming practices and make their commitment to sustainable and family farming known to their customers. Sponsor support helps to underwrite the costs of our annual concert event, which increases the resources available to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers. We also believe that our involvement with these companies helps increase their understanding, appreciation, and demand for local, organic, or humanely raised food from family farmers. Every company that embraces these concepts makes it more likely that family farmers will receive the financial rewards they deserve. The chemical-intensive, industrial food system has been—and continues to be—challenged and changed thanks, in part, to companies like these.
This “family farmers first” food sponsorship philosophy guides our initial acceptance and constant monitoring of our sponsor relationships. Farm Aid has rejected many offers from potential sponsors that did not fit with our mission. Farm Aid’s sponsorship guidelines are available to the public on our Web site. We encourage dialogue around our partnerships with organizations and corporations and we have made a diligent effort to respond to all inquiries on the subject.
We’ve worked alongside farm families to gain enormous ground in changing our food system since 1985. But there’s still a long way to go.
We believe the old saying, “We cannot let perfect be the enemy of good.” Our food system is only at the beginning of a profound change, and Farm Aid is focused on helping it move forward with family farmers at the center.