The upcoming NOFA/Groundswell sponsored workshop on local fair trade is previewed in an article in the Ithaca Journal. The workshop, coming up on Nov 1st at Ecovillage in Ithaca, will cover just labor practices, setting fair prices for goods and the concept of “Local Fair Trade”. For more information, visit the Groundswell Center’s website.
Ithaca farm programs examine food pricing
EcoVillage to host Nov. 1 workshop on community-supported agriculture
One of the pioneers of community-supported agriculture in New York will be co-leading a workshop for farmers on labor and pricing policies on Nov. 1.
Elizabeth Henderson has been growing vegetables at Peacework Organic farm near Newark, N.Y., in Wayne County for 22 years.
“Ours is the oldest community-supported agriculture project in this area,” she said.
Along with Robert Hadad, Cornell Vegetable Program fresh market specialist, Henderson is scheduled to host an all-day workshop on farm labor policies, pricing and local fair trade at EcoVillage in Ithaca.
“Paperwork is not what farmers most like to do — that’s why they’re farming — but it’s something that you have to do, so we’re trying to make it easier,” she said.
Workshop topics cover creating a safe, just workplace and calculating reasonable production costs and fair prices.
“I would like to see fair trade done in our food system, but to get a fair price, you have to be able to calculate it accurately. That’s what the workshop is about: laying the groundwork for fairer trade,” Henderson said.
There’s no set amount that workers or farmers should make, but it should be a living wage for everyone involved, she said.
“It’s wonderful, wonderful work to do, if you could make enough working at it five, even six days a week. And it’s so important. You know, why are we paying a lawyer $100 an hour and a farmer minimum wage?” she said. “So many farms go out of business and it’s because we live in this cheap food system, and farmers aren’t paid adequately for the important work that we do.”
In a national and international market, community-supported agriculture is one of the solutions to that problem, and Henderson said she’s spent her life trying to educate herself and other farmers about good, sustainable farming practices, and about creating “really good, dense community support.”
The workshop is jointly sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York and the Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming in Ithaca. The cost is $35. For more information, contact Hadad at firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 739-4065.