Worker Equity in Food and Agriculture

Practices at the 100 Largest and Most Influential U.S. Companies

Christi Electris, Marjorie Kelly, Heather Lang, Gurneesh Bhandal

October 2012

The rise of the global food movement has brought significant innovation in areas such as organic foods, farmers’ markets, community agriculture, urban gardens, and Slow Food; however, worker welfare remains a blind spot. Despite what may be commonly assumed, food that is sustainable, organic, or locally grown is often produced under highly inequitable working conditions, and there has been tendency to prioritize health concerns, environmental impact, and animal welfare over worker health and well-being. However, while harmful practices are widespread – and in some ways the industry norm – there are also promising examples of emerging best practices. This report attempts to address both trouble spots and best practices.

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