The Agricultural Justice Project brings together workers, farmers, and eaters to build a food system that’s fair and just. We do this in three ways.
Setting & verifying standards of fairness
We convene stakeholders to set standards of food justice, rooted in accountability to farmworkers and to community-scale farmers growing with organic and agroecological practices. We also oversee the certification process that makes sure participating farms follow these standards. Our voluntary certification, Food Justice Certified, communicates the farm’s social justice commitment to eaters and demonstrates the need to support these values throughout our food system.
This past year, with the generous support of Farm Aid and other funders, AJP was able to offer Food Justice Certification free of charge for community-scale and family farms, including support reserved especially for Black, Indigenous, and Farmers of Color, who preserve and carry on a rich legacy of producing food that nourishes the earth, the people working the land, and the communities that eat the fruits of that labor.
We have been honored to work with Lola’s Organic Farm in Glenwood, Georgia this past year, to be able to highlight the deep work they do, and to announce the farm becoming the most recent Food Justice Certified Fair Farm.
Farmer Jennifer Taylor, with her husband Ron Gilmore, grow delicious organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts and cover crops all year on land in rural Georgia that her grandmother, a sharecropper, purchased and farmed years ago. Today their organic produce is sold at farmers markets and health food stores. Jennifer and Ron grow food in a way that nourishes the soil and the community. The ripple effects go far beyond central Georgia, as Jennifer is also a farmer mentor with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). She travels throughout Florida and the region working to strengthen the capacity of small-scale, underserved farmers, particularly those who have shouldered the brunt of the negative impact of social, economic, racial, and justice disparities, climate change and environmental pollution. She shares knowledge of a holistic approach to growing nutritious food, that promotes building healthy soils, healthy environments, and healthy food systems and that enables well-being in all communities, one that strengthens resiliencies and hope for today and for our future.
“Food Justice Certification is a benefit that brings, along with the IFOAM principles of organic agriculture, added well-being into agroecology organic farming systems that enables small farm communities and Black, Indigenous and farmers of color communities to thrive. It is a part of the well-being strategy of our small-scale, USDA Certified Organic farm.” – Farmer Jennifer Taylor
Through our technical assistance and training program, we help farmers implement the fair labor practices embodied in our Food Justice Certified standards. This past year we have succeeded in finalizing a training curriculum on “taking your farm from legal to fair” that four beginning farmer programs have committed to adopting.
“You can’t have agriculture without people, and people need to be valued and treated with respect and dignity. AJP clearly understands this and brings in something that has sorely been lacking in agriculture. AJP works really closely with the farmers to get them up to speed because not everybody is there. [Food Justice Certification] is a very tangible certification that farmers can utilize to help hold themselves accountable to the people they are working with.” -Farmer Nancy Vail, Pie Ranch, Food Justice Certified Fair Farm
Building the solidarity economy
Through all of our programs and advocacy, we foster cooperation and solidarity among farmers, workers, and allies in order to build a movement broad and deep enough to transform the way the U.S. grows and distributes food.