Environmental Justice and Farm Labor (Hardback) book cover

Environmental Justice and Farm Labor

By Rebecca E. Berkey

© 2017 – Routledge

200 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-02-27
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About the Book

Utilizing a model derived from literature on environmental justice overlaid with multiple scales of agriculture, Environmental Justice and Farm Labor provides key insights about laborers in agriculture in the United States. It addresses three main topics: (1) justice-related issues facing farmers and laborers on farms; (2) how history and policy have impacted them; and (3) the opportunities and leverage points for change in improving justice outcomes.

It explores who labors in US agriculture and the justice-related issues facing these workers, including occupational injury and illness, lack of access to healthcare, substandard housing, hunger, low wages, issues pertaining to immigration, and the inability to organize. In addition, it assesses the impacts of labor safety, immigration and international policy, and in particular the effects of organic and fair trade certification. Two detailed case studies, one based on conventional agriculture in Florida and the other on organic agriculture in the Northeast, highlight the interrelated but unique challenges facing those who labor in the different sectors of this complex agricultural system.

Finally, it touches on justice claims and the role of grassroots activism in improving justice outcomes by highlighting organizations operating at multiple scales to contribute to the livelihood of farmers and laborers in the different areas of agriculture.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Environmental Justice and Farm Labor

Labor Across the Continuum

Book Structure

A Word to Readers

1. Environmental Justice and Framing Labor in Agriculture as a Justice Issue

A Brief History of Environmental Justice

Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Environmental Justice

The Environmental Justice Summit: Defining a Movement

Key Considerations of Environmental Justice

Drawing from Coalition Building and Asset-Based Community Development

Dimensions of Environmental Justice

Labor in Agriculture as an Environmental Justice Issue

2. Justice Issues Facing Laborers in Agriculture

Process Claims: The Social Dimension of Farm Labor

Evidence Claims: The Environmental and Structural Dimensions of Farm Labor

Conclusion

3. A Brief History of and Impact of Policy on Laborers in US Agriculture

Process Claims: The Social Dimension of Farm Labor

Policies Impacting Immigrants in US. Agriculture

The Role of Policy in Organic Agriculture: Definitions of Organic, Certification, and Impact on Practice

Concluding Thoughts

4. Case Study in Conventional Agriculture: The Farmworker Association of Florida

Introduction to the Farmworker Association of Florida

The Farmworker Association of Florida: An Exemplar of Justice for Farmworkers in Large-Scale Conventional Agriculture

5. Case Study in Organic Agriculture: The Northeast Organic Farming Association

Introduction to the Northeast Organic Farming Association

Situating the Work in the Continuum of Farm Labor and Environmental Justice Claims

Process Claims (Social Dimensions)

Evidence Claims (Environmental/Structural Dimensions)

Justice Claims (Recognition, Capabilities, and Participation)

6. The Current Landscape of Change: Fighting for Justice for Agricultural Labor

Justice Claims: How Should Things Be?

7. Conclusion: What Will It Take to Change the Story?

About the Author

Rebecca E. Berkey is Director of Service-Learning, Northeastern University, Boston, USA, and Associate Director, Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative, USA.

About the Series

Earthscan Food and Agriculture

Earthscan Food and Agriculture
This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to food and agriculture, integrating perspectives from both social and natural sciences. It includes textbooks, research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Tim Hardwick, Senior Commissioning Editor (tim.hardwick@tandf.co.uk).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC026020
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Rural