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~Introduction to Food Justice Certification~

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Introduction to Food Justice Certification

Fairness – in payments to farmers for their products, in pay and working conditions for farmworkers – is included in the four principles of organic agriculture, though left out of the National Organic Program.  The Agricultural Justice Project’s Food Justice Certification is one way to ensure fairness is happening on and for organic farms.

The market is shifting towards a fair and healthy food system for the people that work the land, in addition to the land itself. Consumer demand for ethical purchasing is on the rise with 31% looking for fair trade food labeling (Consumer report 2014).

What does the Food Justice Certification program represent?

  • Rigorous environmental requirements for biodiversity, soil health, and animal welfare through application of Organic Certification standards
  • Third-party certification
  • Highest standards for fair and ethical labor and fair trade practices
  • IFOAM and ILO principles of social justice
  • Truth in labeling and transparent policies
  • Governance by food system stakeholders

Food Justice Certification is a domestic fair trade label created by the Agricultural Justice Project.  You can read the standards and policy manual on the AJP website. For evaluations of the Food Justice Certified label and program visit the Fair Facts program of the Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA) and the Greener Choices program of Consumer Reports.

Find extensive resources for farmers in the online tool-kit:

  1. A self-assessment check list so a farmer can evaluate readiness for FJC
  2. A self-assessment check list for fair pricing
  3. A downloadable template for labor policies so that a farmer can quickly create a set of employee guidelines that are FJC compliant
  4. Intern learning contract examples
  5. Resources on calculating production costs as basis for pricing that fully covers these costs
  6. A guide to fair contracts

For a guide to the certification process, please read our Steps to Certification.

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