Tuesday, March 14, 2017
A dirty secret of agriculture is labor exploitation. Worldwide, field and ag factory workers have been abused, enslaved and paid ill wages. Much of this has happened because urban and suburban citizens won't pay what food should cost if these hands were treated fairly. Bringing transparency to commodities is a giant PR task that isn't being done because no one cares as long as they don't have to pay more. Groceries are big budget items for families and no one will pay a dime extra for that avocado or peach, much less a cut of meat or fillet of fish. So, we tolerate less than Third World conditions for agricultural workers unless they have been able to organize and demand better lives. That happened in California with the United Farm Workers Union, but poverty is still the basic condition of the agricultural laborer. It isn't fair or just but it is the way society operates and few are out to change it.