Taste the Fairness in North Central Florida`s Watermelons

Taste the Fairness in North Central Florida’s
(GAINESVILLE, Fla. – June 9, 2015) – It is as hot as it gets in north central Florida. While most farmers
are done with their season, their fields planted with cover crops, and most farmworkers have gone north
for the summer farm season, Jordan Brown is picking watermelon alongside his workers. It is no easy
task getting them to the cooler and ready for grocery store shelves and CSA boxes, each watermelon
ranging from 15 to 17 pounds. But at the end of the picking row, refreshing watermelon awaits and
everyone can enjoy the fruits of their labor together – farmer and farmworker side-by-side.
What is more meaningful to Farmer Brown is knowing that everyone working in the field is treated with
respect and paid a living wage. Something that is rare in most American fields where deplorable working
conditions continue and family farmers, trying to uphold principles of stewardship for land and people,
are experiencing the increasing consolidation of power and market share in the hands of a few corporate
food businesses. To Brown the purpose of farming sustainably was not only to ensure that environmental
stewardship is met, but that human decency is upheld to the highest degree.
Jordan Brown has been farming for 8 years on his 25-acre farmland in Bell. His farm, The Family
Garden, has staked their commitment to social justice by meeting the gold standards for domestic fair
trade through Food Justice Certification. Jordan’s produce is 100% Organic and 100% Food Justice
Certified through third party verification programs.
When purchasing FJC products you can support a healthy food system that includes:
Rigorous standards for respectful treatment of farm employees
Fair pricing for farmers
Fair and equitable contracts for farmers and buyers
Clear conflict resolution policies for all throughout the food chain
A ban on full-time child labor together with full protection for children on farms
Living wages for employees
Safe working conditions
Commitment to continual improvement
Environmental stewardship through organic certification
Visit Ward’s Supermarket or Citizens Co-op in Gainesville to buy The Family Garden watermelons this
season! The Family Garden also sells to Global Organics who distribute fresh produce to the greater
southeast region, Fresh 24 Market in Orlando, Homegrown Organics serving Gainesville and Ocala areas,
and Local Fare Farm Bag North serving the greater Jacksonville area.
You can also support fairness in the food system by visiting your local restaurants and requesting dishes
made with Food Justice Certified ingredients! In Gainesville, that includes: The Top and Civilization
The Agricultural Justice Project aims to bridge the gap between
environmental stewardship of the land to include stewardship of the people
who work the land and bring the food to our tables. Food Justice Certified is
unique as it is the only third party verification program to cover U.S.
farmworkers and farmers, as well as other food system workers working in
distribution centers, grocers, manufacturing – all links of the supply chain
from farm to table. Standards and the verification process for the Food
Justice Certified label were stakeholder developed and included farmers and
farmworker representatives in a consensus-style governance structure. It is
also uniquely a collaborative program that recognizes that improving
conditions for farmworkers in the U.S. needs to include improving the terms
farmers receive in selling goods.
Food Justice Certification is the first social justice labeling program to launch in the US and Canada.
Farms and food businesses have already been certified in Canada, California, New York and Florida.
Quality Certification Services (QCS) has completed these certifications, alongside farmworker
organizations such as Lideres Campesinas, Centro Campesino, Farmworkers Association of Florida,
Agricultural Workers Alliance and CATA/The Farmworker Support Committee. This program is
designed for all agricultural production systems, fiber, and cosmetics, as well as food.
Ask your grocer if they sell Food Justice Certified products or tell your farmer and grocer you support
them seeking AJP certification!