Farmers, ranchers, foresters and fishers around the world face similar challenges as they seek to produce nutritious food for their families, communities and for more distant markets.
Business cycles go from boom to bust; heat stress and extreme weather contribute to unbearable working conditions; little chance for advancement and stagnant wage growth dampen youth interest in farming; and remote rural locations lead to isolation from modern services and amenities.
Producers need equitable work opportunities and the chance to build thriving businesses. With the adoption of more sustainable agricultural policies and a focus on improvements for decent work and access to education, training and innovation, producers can help fulfill the sustainability imperative and transform agri-food systems for healthy people and a healthy planet.
No Justice, No Farmers
Agriculture around the world relies on a labor force that faces risky and difficult working conditions. Thanks to a growing number of socially responsible producers and led by consumer campaigns to raise awareness, agricultural working conditions are improving in some notable cases. Advocacy organizations such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and Oxfam shine a spotlight on how supply chains can become more just and more sustainable. Oxfam’s new Behind the Barcodes campaign takes a focus on supermarkets and retailers and how they can address growing inequality in their value chains by improving transparency in food sourcing, guaranteeing safe working conditions and equal opportunities for women and fairly sharing food industry revenues with farm laborers.