Equity @ Fair Farms

Equity is at the center of the Fair Farms Campaign. From farmworkers to consumers, we are working to rebuild our food system on the foundation of just, equitable, and sustainable practices for the benefit of all people equally. 

Farmer Selling at MarketWe acknowledge the legacy of racism and inequality inherent in the establishment and perpetuation of our current food system. Our agricultural system was founded on land theft and violence against indigenous communities and the enslavement and torture of Black peoples. Slavery’s effects continue to permeate throughout the food system today as Black farmers are often denied loans and other federal assistance due to their race. Today, Black farmers make up less than two percent of all farmers in America–a recent report shows that this decline is a direct result of the United States Department of Agriculture’s discriminatory lending practices. Not only are Black, indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) undervalued, discriminated against, and dismissed within the system, but BIPOC are also disproportionately food insecure and live in areas with unequal access to affordable, nutritious foods.

An estimated 2.4 million farmworkers are people of color that do not own or operate the farmlands they cultivate. We believe farming is a powerful tool to build sustainable and resilient communities that are economically prosperous. While we advocate for a level playing field in land ownership, we recognize that the solutions we propose must be done by and with BIPOC communities. Fair Farms connects with BIPOC community members, leaders, and organizers to promote on the ground answers to land acquisition barriers. 

Food service employees and farmworkers are often neglected or removed from food-conscious dialogues. We must value the people that are feeding the world and ensure that they are continuously being centered in conversations around restructuring the food system to be more equitable. One of our top priorities is securing a livable wage for farmworkers. After months of us campaigning in 2019, Maryland passed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour through a five to six year phase in; however, to our disappointment, farmworkers were exempt from this new standard. COVID-19 has exposed the necessity of securing a livable wage for all employees, especially those working within the food system.  

Fair Farms uses our platform to highlight and uplift BIPOC voices and continuously question our understanding of the issues related to our food system and racial inequality. For us, centering equity in the food system means campaigning for a livable wage for farmworkers, challenging racism, making healthy foods more accessible, supporting BIPOC land ownership and highlighting BIPOC food businesses, and protecting immigrant food workers. 

For more information on the work Fair Farms does to promote a just and equitable food system, check out some of our legislative commitments: 

  • Farm Workers and Maryland minimum wage
  • The Maryland Food for Maryland Institutions Act
  • The Maryland Farms and Families Fund
  • Access to Healthy Food (“Complete Streets”)
  • Food Donation Pilot Program Expansion
Latest Posts

5 Unique Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Written by Nicole Oveisi, Fair Farms Intern 1) If You’re Eating Meat, Look for Grassfed  The meat industry has been criticized for the ways in which it has contributed to greenhouse gas emissions. Some people switch to a vegetarian, vegan, or simply less-meat-heavy diet in order to reduce their carbon footprint. However, not all meat…
0 comments

Supporting Black-Owned Food and Farm Businesses

Written by Nicole Oveisi, Fair Farms Intern Sometimes challenging moments can bring up a feeling of paralysis. The fear and very real health repercussions of the pandemic along with civil unrest are a lot to process and weigh even heavier on our Black and Brown community members. If you’re looking for a way to create…
0 comments

Challenging Racism Within our Broken Food System

The recent murders of George Floyd in Minnesota, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky are part of a longstanding pattern of violence and discrimination carried out against people of color in the United States. These are not isolated incidents. They are symptoms of an ever-prevalent racism that exists in all facets of…
0 comments

Thank you for making these legislative wins possible!

In order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Maryland General Assembly decided to adjourn a few weeks early, on March 18th. We’re thankful that our elected officials acted quickly to protect public health, while also accomplishing a tremendous amount in a short period of time. Thanks to their steadfastness, and your vocal advocacy,…
0 comments