December 30, 2016
This time in history is an opportunity for justice, but we need to set our sights on a transformation, not just a band aid. For many this year has been dark with widespread fears that we are taking a step backwards. Although the election and the aftermath has been surprising to many, the realities of wealth and status inequality, based in divisiveness and hidden realities, in the context of a long history of systematic racism and classism, operating in economic and political systems that value profit over people has been leading up to this moment for a long time.
There have been many advocates for a dramatic change towards a society that serves the masses who have been marginalized and now is the time for these movements to come to the forefront and lead us in a revolution.
Momentum is building for real change and our work on the Agricultural Justice Project has always been and will continue to be focused on long-term revolutionary change based on empowerment and justice for all who labor.
We specifically apply our strategies of grassroots, stakeholder-driven, transparent, shared responsibility for people and planet, and right to self-determination for each and every person to the food system, but it is a model that can serve society as a whole.
The struggle to dismantle the power hold big money has on our choices, policies, and realities must rely on grassroots donations from you. Big money is not going to be motivated to support work that undermines their power. Please consider donating for a different reality. We can do this together with your year-end, tax deductible donation!
In Solidarity for Justice,
Leah Cohen, Chelsie Papiez, and Alannah Kull (AJP’s Program Team)
On behalf of AJP's Board:
Michael Sligh of RAFI, Marty Mesh of FOG, Nelson Carrasquillo and Jessica Culley of CATA, Jen Salinetti of Woven Roots Farm, and Elizabeth Henderson of NOFA
Highlights of Momentum Building in 2016:
National Geographic published an article in December featuring our work and one of the first Food Justice Certified farms in California- Swanton Berry Farm:
- AJP received the highest possible ratings from two more watchdog organizations in 2016 (Fair World Project and Real Food Project) for our Food Justice Certification program.
- Food Tank featured AJP as a food hero in their November publication “20 Organizations Fighting for Food Justice.”
- EcoFarm’s Ecological Farmers and Ranchers Alliance is working with AJP to have the Food Justice Certification standards and tools address the 3rd leg in their triple bottom line of sustainability.
- AJP was the featured non-profit working on issues of unequal access to good food at the Prophets of Rage concert in St. Augustine Florida where band member Tom Morello (of Rage against the Machine) gave an inspiring speech urging concert goers to take action against hunger.
- AJP continues to be featured regularly in the press
- AJP continues to provide workshops and information sessions at conferences and food events across North America.
- Activity engaged many stakeholders across North America representing farmers, farmworkers, food businesses, grower groups, retailers in a high bar standards revision process. In addition, stakeholders serving on our Standards Committee include:
- Rosalinda Guillen, Community to Community, WA
- Kathy Peters, Abundance Cooperative Market, NY
- Tirso Moreno, Farmworkers Association of Florida, FL
- Marion McBride, Farmer Direct Cooperative, Canada
- Rufus Haucke, Keewaydin Farms, WI
- Nancy Vail, Pie Ranch, CA
- Linda Halley, Gardens of Eagan, MN
- Jessica Culley, Farmworker Support Committee (CATA), NJ
- AJP partners have conducted numerous workshops on improving fairness on the farm and throughout the food system across North America.
- Farmworker advocate and AJP collaborator Rosalinda Guillen from farmworker organization Community to Community was featured as the keynote speaker at the NOFA – NY 24th Annual Organic Farming and Gardening Conference, illustrating that bridges are being built and strengthened across sectors of the food system despite efforts of big business to pit workers against farmers.
- Food Justice Certified fair farm labeled package legumes from Farmer Direct Co-operative became available in Whole Foods stores across North America for the first time ever.