Food System Solutions in New England

Christoph Hinske and the Institute for Strategic Clarity will map New England’s regional food system.

Christoph Hinske of the Institute for Strategic Clarity will map New England’s Food System

According to many American food system workers and consumers, our food system is broken.

Organic farmer Diana Kushner of Arcadian Fields Farm in Hope Valley, RI explains it this way: “1) Local … food does not cost too much, industrial food with all of its hidden environmental and social costs (think slave labor and the plight of migrant workers) is too cheap. (2) Subsidies to corn and soy make [processed] food cheap.”

Field laborers, food processors and restaurant workers do not often receive living wages. New American Farmers (formerly known as migrant workers), typically earn so little they cannot afford to live where they work or purchase the food they produce. Food processors may work in dangerous production facilities with minimal safety training. Restaurant workers rarely havepaid sick leave. They risk being fired to stay home from work to care for a sick child or other family member. Many of the poorest workers fear reprisals, losing their jobs or becoming blacklisted if they complain. Worker advocacy groups offer these workers a voice.

[Read more here.]

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About Sanne Kure-Jensen

Sanne Kure-Jensen is a frequent contributor to Country Folks, Country Folks Grower and Wine & Grape Grower bringing regional and national attention to agriculture in RI and across southern New England. She has also written for newsletters of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Holistic Management International (HMI), RI Beekeepers Association and RI Tree Council. Read Sanne’s work at her Sustainable Living page at examiner.com. Sanne has written successful grant applications for alternative energy projects, staff and board training, products and services. Clients include agricultural businesses, farm stand/markets and non-profit organizations. Recent successful grant projects include a $90,000 USDA Rural Development‘s Rural Energy For America Program (REAP), $10,000 Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer and $20,000 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). Sanne is the part-time Administrator for NOFA/RI, a Rhode Island Certified Horticulturist and beekeeper. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional and has lectured across southern New England on Beekeeping, Native Pollinators and Ecological Landscape Design. Learn more about the NOFA’s Land Care programs or contact Sanne for a garden consultation through the NOFA/RI website.
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