Swanton Berry Farm has been a leader in the sustainable food movement for more than 30 years, pushing boundaries for environmental stewardship as well as social justice. Not only were they the first organic strawberry farm in California, but they were also the first organic farm to sign a contract with the United Farm Workers, in 1998.
This month, Swanton Berry Farm became one of four farms in the United States to receive the Agricultural Justice Project’s (AJP) Food Justice Certification label, which sets rigorous standards for respectful treatment of farmworkers, living wages, safe working conditions, and collective bargaining rights. This certification has been a long time in the works for Swanton, and the farm has worked closely with AJP to help them develop their protocols.
“Farmer Jim Cochran is deeply committed to social justice, for the people who work on his own farm and on all farms,” says AJP co-founder Elizabeth Henderson. “He has helped the Agricultural Justice Project by allowing his farm to serve as a guinea pig while we developed our program.”
We spoke with Swanton co-owner Jim Cochran to learn more about this new certification and the future of the domestic fair trade movement. More…