RESOURCES FOR FARMS & PEOPLE WANTING TO SUPPORT FARMERS, FARMWORKERS, AND FOOD SYSTEM WORKERS

Covid-19

Covid-19 Resources, Guidance, and Information

The Covid-19 Crisis: Planning for Extra Care on your Small/Mid-Sized Farm Guidance

AJP's 2 page guidance for farms on how to consider Covid-19 in health and safety on the farm (how to develop a farm plan around Covid-19). It includes these and other links to easy-to-understand infographics that can be posted for workers and short video clips that workers and farm and ranch managers can listen to or watch in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Maya Mam.

Additional resources will be added below as we come across them.

Direct links to Informational Resources on Covid-19 Prevention Strategies:

Relief Funds for Various Food System Stakeholders (farmworkers, farmers, food processing workers, retail workers, etc.):

For those who need support or those who want to contribute to one or more funds.

  • South Jersey Undocumented Solidarity Fund: from CATA: "Join with us to raise funds for undocumented community members in South Jersey negatively impacted by COVID-19....The current crisis with COVID-19 has revealed what many immigrant workers have always known and lived through their experience. While our society now classifies their work in agriculture, food processing, and services as essential to keeping our grocery shelves stocked with food and our economy running, they have always been treated as expendable. Undocumented workers face a difficult decision. Many continue to work every day while putting their own health and the health of their loved ones at risk. If they need to stay home to care for themselves, their families or children or they are laid off, they do not have access to unemployment or government benefits to sustain themselves."
  • Relief Funds List for Undocumented Workers (Spanish/English/Chinese). Living google spreadsheet focuses on California resources but some are national; links to many funds, some of which are listed below.
  • Covid-19 Resources for Food Workers List. Living google document with many links to funds but other resources and information as well.
  • RAFI's Farmer Relief Fund: RAFI-USA will be distributing emergency mini-grants of $500 to farmers who are drastically impacted by market sales disruptions caused by COVID-19. Funding is currently limited to farmers located in North Carolina. For use on personal household expenses only.
  • Pioneer Valley Workers Center 413 Undocu-Worker Solidarity Fund: Fund to distribute small grants to many undocumented workers across sectors in Western Massachusetts, including restaurants, farming, and construction.
  • Restaurant Opportunity Center United Relief Fund: Provides resources and financial assistance to restaurant workers impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
  • One Fair Wage Relief Fund: Provides cash assistance to restaurant workers, delivery drivers and other tipped workers and service workers who are seeing their income decline during this disaster or aren't able to work because of quarantines or other health concerns. In Spanish
  • Immigrant Worker Safety Net Fund: Support for workers over 60 years old; workers with disabilities and medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus; workers who fall ill with Coronavirus; worker leaders, organizers and volunteers who fall ill while educating and serving others.
  • Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation Covid-19 Relief Fund
  • Farmworkers Covid-19 Pandemic Relief Fund organized by Justice for Migrant Women
  • Thrive Market COVID-19 Relief Fund. It will provide $150 grocery stipends to any family facing health or financial hardships due to COVID-19, based on need.
  • Farmer Relief Funds due to market disruption by Covid-19. "American Farmland Trust Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis. Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.

Add your voice to sign-on letters asking for support for food system workers, farmers & ranchers:

*To Support Farmworkers, Local Farmers, and Food Service Workers Providing Food in the University of Florida dining services, sign our letter with 5 Demands for a Top 5 University here. From the Food Justice League:

Please sign onto our letter! This is a public pressure campaign to get the University of Florida to consider justice and sustainability in the supply chain of their food services (their contract with Aramark is up and they are in the process of negotiating a new contract).

In times like these, when a global health crisis hits, the need for a more just, sustainable, and resilient food system is underscored. One way we can have a big impact on these aims is to compel our public institutions to do the right thing in their own food services by supporting food service workers in dining halls, as well as farmworkers, farmers, local food businesses and local communities whose labor everyone at the institution relies upon to eat. Sign on and share the letter to encourage UF to implement concrete practices rooted in dignity and respect for those who feed us.

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To support essential workers in meat processing facilities (Text from the Food Chain Workers Alliance):

Venceremos is supporting poultry workers to organize in the face of a COVID-19 outbreak in Arkansas. Thousands of workers have gotten sick, yet, poultry companies continue to operate and are threatening workers with disciplinary points if they refuse to work.

  • ACTION 1: Sign Venceremos’ petitions here and here
  • ACTION 2: Call Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and demand that he order the shutdown of processing plants with COVID-19 outbreaks at (501) 682-2345
  • ACTION 3: Write an email to Tyson, Pilgrim’s, George’s and Cargill’s CEOs. Emails and sample text are here

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To support farmworkers in Ontario (Text from the Food Chain Workers Alliance):

Migrant farm workers in Ontario, Canada are also speaking out as a massive COVID outbreak occurs in migrant communities. Over 839 agricultural workers have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 in Canada, and three workers have tragically died. Migrant workers are courageously sharing testimonies and videos of crowded housing conditions that are leading to the outbreaks. Justicia for Migrant Workers is asking supporters to:

  • ACTION 1: Call, email and tweet a major cannabis grower Aphria and tell the company to respect workers demands for safe conditions and hazard pay in it’s facilities, and at the companies it partners with like Double Diamond (where workers recently publicly exposed unsafe and overcrowded bunkhouses). Aphria recently tweeted their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and Justicia notes the conflict with this statement and the concerns raised by migrant agricultural workers in their greenhouses. Contact info and sample message is here.
  • ACTION 2: Send a tweet to Ontario Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, demanding they make and enforce mandatory standards to protect migrant workers and undertake to carry out frequent, unannounced, and proactive inspections of bunkhouses.
  • ACTION 3: Send a tweet to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and federal ministers demanding a wage boost and full permanent resident status now for migrant workers,
  • ACTION 4: Sign Justicia’s petition calling on the provincial and federal government to act now

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To support all essential workers that bring food to your table: CALL ON CONGRESS TO ACT!

"FCWA [Food Chain Workers Alliance] continues to call on Congress to compel OSHA to pass an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect workers, as well as provide premium pay and income for all workers regardless of immigration status. All three measures were included in the House stimulus package. Please sign and share our petition and ask your Senator to ensure the Senate bill includes these critical worker protections."

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*To Support Farmers and Ranchers-click and send template to your elected officials. From the National Family Farm Coalition:

"The global COVID-19 pandemic is touching nearly every part of our lives – including food and agriculture. Necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus have resulted in the immediate loss of key markets for growers, and ongoing uncertainty threatens farmers’ ability to plan for the growing season just underway. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of people nationwide have been laid off, and the need for emergency support – including food – for the most vulnerable in our society is now.

We need your help TODAY: Congress is making decisions right now about aid for people and businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Now is the time to make sure that farmers, ranchers, and the innovative food and farm businesses building resilient local and regional food systems get the support they need to continue feeding our communities, paying their employees, and responding rapidly to emergency needs."

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*To Support Farmers, Fishers and Food Workers- click and send template to your elected official from Farm Aid:

The people who produce our food are facing a crisis unlike any they have ever seen, encountering new threats sparked by COVID-19 while they endure a multi-year slump in prices for their goods, volatile trade disputes, frequent natural disasters, and climate disruption.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 stimulus bills passed in Congress do not go nearly far enough to ensure that all farmers, ranchers, and fishermen are supported, particularly small and mid-sized operations, limited resource producers, farms operated by farmers of color, and tribal nations who are often left out of federal farm policy.

Take Action with Farm Aid now to include the essential people who produce our food in the federal COVID-19 response.

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*To Support Farmers being included in Covid-19 relief programs for small businesses through the small business administration - Sign A Greener World's petition. See their press release on the topic here.

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*To Support Farmworkers-Click here for an easy click and send letter to your elected official urging them to include immigrant families that file taxes using an ITIN are included in the stimulus. From the Farmworker Support Committee (CATA):

"According to the Department of Labor’s most recent agricultural workers survey, just 47 percent of farmworkers report having health coverage, compared to 91.5 percent of the general population. Farmworkers are also excluded from many of the rights given to workers under the National Labors Standards Act including overtime and the right to join a union. You can take action now to help support workers during this critical time."

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*To Support Immigrant Farmworkers- Click here to oppose the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. Stand in solidarity with the Farmworker Support Committee (CATA), Familias Unidas por la Justicia, Community to Community Development, United Food and Commercial Workers, the Farmworker Association of Florida, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, and the Agricultural Justice Project in opposing this proposed legislation.

Also see AJP co-founder and board member Elizabeth Henderson's analysis of this act here.

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AJP Resources for Farms to Meet FJC Standards

1. Steps to Certification

2. How can I use the Food Justice Certified label?

3. Farmer Toolkit (newly revised)

AJP has an extensive farmer toolkit. The older version can be downloaded in whole here. We have revised and expanded the farmer toolkit with new resources and it will be downloadable by sections (see below) soon. As we finalize each section we will make it available. Check back for more resources. Most sections are in Word to allow farms to easily use the many template included in the toolkit and adapt them for their own farm needs.

Farmer Toolkit table of contents (draft)

Part I: Getting Started (revised and finalized)

Part II: Safety and Conflict Resolution (revised in draft form - to be finalized soon)

Part III: Minors and Interns (revised in draft form - to be finalized soon)

Part IV: Farmer - Buyer Relations, Fair Pricing and Contracts (revised in draft form - to be finalized soon)

Part V: Creating an Employee Handbook and Steps to Food Justice Certification (revised in draft form - to be finalized soon)

Part VI: Marketing Materials (coming soon)

Part VII: International Codes Supporting Fair Trade and Labor Standards (coming soon)

Living wages:

How do I calculate a living wage for my employees? Here are some tools to help you calculate a living wage while meeting the requirements of a fair wage under FJC Standards (see the Living Wage Worksheet for breakdown of the requirements per the FJC Standards and how different calculators compare).

4. Handout for employees on their rights
Download this document and print it out for your workers if you are applying for certification. This is required in the FJC standards. This document explains to your employees what the standards cover, and how to access the complaints and appeals process.

5. Worker Organizations
We recommend workers participate in a regional or local worker center or worker organization that can provide support for workers such as trainings, meetings, workshops and other resources. Worker organizations will also provide support when worker rights are violated by ways of appropriate action for filing complaints and finding resolutions to conflicts.

Canada - Agricultural Workers Alliance (AWA)

United States