(Courtesy of Elizabeth Henderson)
DAYTON, Ohio - Healthy food and justice for all need to be united in order to create a food system worth sustaining, according to an organic farmer who pioneered the community-supported agriculture model.
At an upcoming event in Ohio, Elizabeth Henderson will speak about agrarian justice, which she has described as connecting soil and human health with social justice and fairness for farms. She said fair prices for family farmers would help them pay fair wages to farmworkers.
"To have a really healthy food system, we have to find a way of ensuring that prices to farmers are high enough that they can pay themselves, and everybody who works on their farms, living wages," Henderson said.
Henderson is one of the leaders behind the Agricultural Justice Project and its food justice certification labeling. She will be discussing agrarian justice during a keynote speech and workshop at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association's 40th annual conference in Dayton on Feb. 15.
Henderon said farmers and farm laborers should think of themselves as partners with other food workers and support movements such as fast-food workers' fight for $15 an hour.
"When organic farmers stand up for social justice, for better conditions for the people who work on our farms, that makes us really good allies with the other people in the food system who are working for transformation," she said.
Henderson noted that allying with other workers gives farmers a bigger base to push for the programs that are making a difference.
"Transforming the food system into one that is more fair, more equitable, allows us as farmers to use the very best ecological practices - growing food with full respect for Mother Earth so that we don't damage the soil on which we all depend," Henderson said.
The conference will run Feb. 14-16. Registration information is online at OEFFA.org