COVID-19 STIMULUS PACKAGE FOR THE FOOD SYSTEM

posted March 26, 2020

Huge gratitude to the National Family Farm Coalition, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, WhyHunger, FarmAid, the HEAL Food Alliance and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy for putting together these policy recommendations responding to the $2 trillion Senate stimulus bill.

These coalitions are concerned that the stimulus bill “and other existing proposals have too few protections for working families, too many corporate bailouts, and limited language on supporting food producers and food workers through this crisis.”

Their message to congress emphasiezs that “farmers, ranchers, and fishermen need (to name a few) emergency payments, debt relief, access to zero interest credit, and support to adapt their markets and distribution, and that these short-term provisions should be linked to systemic reforms.  Farm, fish and food workers should also receive a range of protections including unemployment assistance, paid sick leave and access to healthcare.”

The policy recommendations are organized by three headers: (1) ENSURE A FAIR LIVELIHOOD FOR FARMERS, RANCHERS, FISHERMEN AND ALL FARM, FISH AND FOOD WORKERS, (2) BOLSTER LOCAL & REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS POISED TO FEED COMMUNITIES, and (3) ENACT SYSTEMIC REFORM TO BUILD RESILIENCE FOR ALL FOOD PRODUCERS, WORKERS AND EATERS.

SHARE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS WITH YOUR CONGRESS MEMBERS AND NETWORKS! Copy & paste below:

Dear ____________,
Thank you for your hard work during this crisis.  While some of the proposed measures in the existing stimulus packages will help to boost the economy and provide some aid to households and industries, they fall short with respect to protections for food producers and workers. 
Several leading organizations, including NAMA, the National Family Farm Coalition, WhyHunger, FarmAid, the HEAL Food Alliance and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy came together to address the issues that producers and workers are currently facing. Attached are policy recommendations for a stimulus package to support the food system.  They include measures to:

  • Protect the livelihoods of food producers and workers
  • Bolster local & regional food systems that are poised to feed communities, and
  • Create systemic changes that build resilience of food producers, workers and eaters

Thanks for your consideration and please let me know if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
___________________


BERNIE for “community ownership of farmland” !

posted February 5, 2020

Bernie Sanders on REVITALIZING RURAL AMERICA, an issue near and dear to the hearts of Greenhorns far and wide:

“Fundamental change in America’s agricultural and rural policies is no longer just an option; it’s an absolute necessity. With the right support and policies, we can have rural communities that are thriving economically and ecologically.”

Major policy developments are being called for on three fronts: (1) Policies Leveling the Playing Field for Farmers and Farmworkers, (2) Policies to Empower Farmers, Foresters & Ranchers to Address Climate Change and Protect Ecosystems, and (3) Policies to Foster Investment to Revitalize Rural Communities. Yes, yes and yes!!

Particularly exciting for the young farmer movement and developing the agrarian commons are the propositions below. Learn more about the work of our sister organization, Agrarian Trust, here!

  • Invest in beginning farmers to purchase land and equipment for sustainable farming.
  • Allocate government funding to purchase easements to ensure land stays in agriculture.
  • Incentivize community ownership of farmland to allow more people to work the land and produce food for local consumers.
  • Make government owned farmland available as incubator farms for beginning farmers.

And the list goes on. Click here to read more on Bernie’s plans to Revitalize Rural America.


DARK Act Comeback

posted April 26, 2016

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This just in from the Organic Consumers Association newsletter:

DARK Act Comeback?

Everybody loves a Comeback Kid—unless that “kid” is the DARK Act.

In March, the Senate voted down the DARK Act, the bill that would Deny Americans our Right to Know about GMOs.

Since then, Monsanto and its front groups, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) have been using their power, influence and, most of all, money to ram some version of the DARK Act through Congress before Vermont’s first-in-the-nation GMO labeling law takes effect on July 1.

Reliable sources say that the DARK Act will soon be up for another vote.

Last time, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) didn’t have the votes to pass his bill to take away states’ rights to label GMOs. Many of those who voted against the bill were pro-GMO Senators who take campaign contributions (and their talking points) from companies like Monsanto. But realizing they would take a lot of heat from their constituents, they voted no in the hope that a more palatable “compromise” bill might come along.

The Senators who voted against the DARK Act last time could easily flip their votes to support a “compromise” (capitulation) to block Vermont’s law and replace it with a weak federal standard, because of—what else?—pressure from the big corporations who profit from toxic pesticides and GMO foods.

TAKE ACTION: Stop the DARK Act Comeback! Tell your Senators: Protect Vermont’s GMO labeling law. 

Dial 888-897-0174 to tell your Senators to vote against any compromise that would block or delay Vermont’s bill from taking effect.

Help us protect Vermont’s GMO labeling law