Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series
Name: Food Chain Workers Alliance
What they do: The Food Chain Workers Alliance believes in a truly sustainable food system, one that can provide healthy and locally made food, and that has the potential to lift up communities, workers, and our shared environment. It is a coalition of worker-based organizations across the country whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, and who have organized to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain. Click here to view a list of the Alliance’s members. As a country-wide alliance, they have the ability to make changes on the local, state and national level. Currently, the group has 31 members representing more than 350,000 food workers in the US and Canada.
How they do it: The Food Chain Workers Alliance focuses on three areas of work. Each member organization participates in at least one of the following program committees:
1. Growth & Learning: Worker solidarity and leadership among workers all along the food chain is key to making improvements in the workplace. This committee plans the Alliance’s annual worker leaders summit as well as the regional Justice in the Food Chain training series, and develops other ways that members can learn from each other.
2. Campaigns & Messages: This committee helps to build public support for members’ organizing campaigns and the principal campaign of the Alliance, which is focused on the Good Food Purchasing Program and develops messaging, materials, and social media tools to support those campaigns.
3. Movement Building: The Alliance believes that to achieve their vision of a sustainable food system they need to build broad and deep social movements, and that they can’t do this alone. They therefore have co-founded and play leadership roles in a number of national groups including the HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture and Labor) Alliance and the Domestic Fair Trade Association.
Mission: to build a more sustainable food system based on the principles of social, environmental and racial justice, that respects workers’ rights and provides everyone with access to healthy and affordable food.
Latest project/campaign: The Food Chain Workers Alliance is expanding its worker leadership development training, Justice in the Food Chain series, to add Level 2 sessions for those who have already attended the training and to train food workers and organizers to lead training sessions in their own communities.
Major Funding: Food and Farm Communications Fund, Ford Foundation, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Lawson Valentine Foundation, LIFT Fund, via the Solidago Foundation, Norman Foundation, Panta Rhea Foundation, Presbyterian Hunger Program, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Annual Budget: $780,000
Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect the food system: The Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) is nationally regarded as the most comprehensive and metric-based food procurement policy in the country. It provides a way for institutions to work with food service providers, distributors, processors and growers to create a transparent “farm-to-fork” food supply. The Alliance encourages local coalitions around the country to advocate for the adoption of this program in order to bring more good food to low-income communities and strengthen regional Good Food systems.
3055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Other Location 1:
275 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
Other Location 2:
77 W. Washington St. Suite 1508
Chicago, IL 06002
-Worker solidarity and leadership among workers all along the food chain, from farm to fork
-Supporting food workers’ organizing campaigns to improve their jobs and working conditions
-The HEAL (Health Environment Agriculture and Labor) Alliance
-The Good Food Purchasing Program
Number of staff: 6
Number of volunteers: 5
Areas served: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, New York State, National
Year Started: 2009
CEO: Co-directors: Joann Lo & Jose Oliva
Contact Information: [email protected]