Utilizing a model derived from literature on environmental justice overlaid with multiple scales of agriculture, Environmental Justice and Farm Labor provides key insights about laborers in agriculture in the United States. It addresses three main topics: (1) justice-related issues facing farmers and laborers on farms; (2) how history and policy have impacted them; and (3) the opportunities and leverage points for change in improving justice outcomes.
It explores who labors in US agriculture and the justice-related issues facing these workers, including occupational injury and illness, lack of access to healthcare, substandard housing, hunger, low wages, issues pertaining to immigration, and the inability to organize. In addition, it assesses the impacts of labor safety, immigration and international policy, and in particular the effects of organic and fair trade certification. Two detailed case studies, one based on conventional agriculture in Florida and the other on organic agriculture in the Northeast, highlight the interrelated but unique challenges facing those who labor in the different sectors of this complex agricultural system.
Finally, it touches on justice claims and the role of grassroots activism in improving justice outcomes by highlighting organizations operating at multiple scales to contribute to the livelihood of farmers and laborers in the different areas of agriculture.
Rebecca E. Berkey is Director of Service-Learning, Northeastern University, Boston, USA, and Associate Director, Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative, USA.
Introduction: Environmental Justice and Farm Labor Labor Across the Continuum Book Structure A Word to Readers 1. Environmental Justice and Framing Labor in Agriculture as a Justice Issue A Brief History of Environmental Justice Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Environmental Justice The Environmental Justice Summit: Defining a Movement Key Considerations of Environmental Justice Drawing from Coalition Building and Asset-Based Community Development Dimensions of Environmental Justice Labor in Agriculture as an Environmental Justice Issue 2. Justice Issues Facing Laborers in Agriculture Process Claims: The Social Dimension of Farm Labor Evidence Claims: The Environmental and Structural Dimensions of Farm Labor Conclusion 3. A Brief History of and Impact of Policy on Laborers in US Agriculture Process Claims: The Social Dimension of Farm Labor Policies Impacting Immigrants in US. Agriculture The Role of Policy in Organic Agriculture: Definitions of Organic, Certification, and Impact on Practice Concluding Thoughts 4. Case Study in Conventional Agriculture: The Farmworker Association of Florida Introduction to the Farmworker Association of Florida The Farmworker Association of Florida: An Exemplar of Justice for Farmworkers in Large-Scale Conventional Agriculture 5. Case Study in Organic Agriculture: The Northeast Organic Farming Association Introduction to the Northeast Organic Farming Association Situating the Work in the Continuum of Farm Labor and Environmental Justice Claims Process Claims (Social Dimensions) Evidence Claims (Environmental/Structural Dimensions) Justice Claims (Recognition, Capabilities, and Participation) 6. The Current Landscape of Change: Fighting for Justice for Agricultural Labor Justice Claims: How Should Things Be? 7. Conclusion: What Will It Take to Change the Story?