The good food movement has made great progress, generating mainstream interest in organic agriculture, animal rights and artisanal food production. However, it has often silenced the voices of working people. It has denied them access to food sovereignty, while celebrating a romanticized brand of localism that undermines workers’ rights and environmental sustainability. We want to change that.
Most of our members are Central American immigrants. U.S. intervention, neoliberal policies, and climate change has dispossessed them of their land or made survival impossible in their home countries.
We are fighting for a future in which workers, immigrants, and all people of color, revolutionize the way that we feed and sustain ourselves. Through our food justice work, we are fighting to improve labor conditions, and at the same time, plant the seeds of an alternative economy.
Our long range vision has always been to build institutions that directly represent the interests of working people. To begin making that vision a reality, this spring we are developing a worker-run farm with seven of our members. On May Day, 2019 we secured access to four acres of fertile land, where we will grow food to feed our community. To make this possible, we are working in close collaboration with the Kestrel Land Trust, the City of Northampton, Equity Trust, All Farmers and TESA. We are grateful for the knowledge, resources and extraordinary generosity that each organization brings to this partnership.
On this land, we will grow much more than just food.
We will learn from one another and build new skills. We will cultivate the community needed to sustain a multi-racial, cross-class food justice movement. Our farm workers members produce an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables, which are sold at high prices that they cannot afford to buy for themselves. This irony is bitter. Now that we have land, we have the power to meet more of our own basic needs.
On this land, farm workers will become farm owners.
We will own the fruits of our labor. We will grow our own organic vegetables, which we will sell to our community at prices they can afford. We will become a part of building the new economy, rooted in democracy and ecological richness.
Together, we will use this land to grow the food justice movement.
“Ese trabajo me gusta y día a día, pues, uno va viendo la cosecha…las frutas y como van creciendo…No me gusta estar encerrada. Me gusta andar en lo libre.”
— Claudia, PVWC farmworker & board member
We believe that a big part of fighting for the world we want to live must include creating educational platforms where people can share their skills, dreams, and visions for a new world in response to the dispossession that they have suffered.
In partnership with TESA and All Farmers, we offer workshops and classes focused on cooperative economics. Members learn about the history of worker cooperatives and explore different contemporary models that other low-wage workers and immigrants are using to start their own businesses. They also gain important nuts and bolts skills in coop governance, conflict resolution, market research, budgeting and financial literacy.
Our goal is to support our members in developing the resources that they need to move towards becoming their own bosses and take concrete steps in that direction. Many of our members already have experience running businesses and cooperatives in their own countries. Here, they lack the linguistic resources and capital to navigate starting their own enterprises.
Through these workshops, we learn from one another and begin to collectively re-imagine alternative ways of organizing our labor and sharing our resources.