Building a better food system through equity and accountability.
For the past 70 years, corporations have been unchecked in consolidating power at the expense of farmers and rural communities. We work to reduce corporate power in agriculture by:
–Holding corporations and government accountable to curb the adverse effects of livestock concentration.
–Building alternative, inclusive livestock economies that are more equitable.
Collaborating with a broad base of stakeholders, farmers, workers, environmental activists, animal welfare groups, and others, we work to build an equitable food system that is economically, racially, and ecologically just.
How We Work
We use a three-pronged approach to build the alternative.
We’re growing our numbers, building a movement of farmers, workers, rural communities, and consumers to take back our food system from corporations. We work collaboratively with a variety of allies, including environmental and animal welfare groups.
Pictured: Panel discussing the exploitation of industrial livestock production at the 2019 Come to the Table Conference in Charlotte, NC. Left to right: Ayo Wilson (facilitator), Carlton Sanders (former poultry farmer), Craig Watts (Farmer Advocate, RAFI-USA), Devon Hall, Sr. (Co-founder, Rural Empowerment Association for Community Help (REACH))
We follow the lead of our base. Good policy places community as its center and is created with community participation and consent. With our base, we create policy recommendations that move towards making the government hold corporations accountable. Our base-led recommendations shift government support from extractive corporate agriculture to inclusive, alternative agricultural economies. These alternative agricultural economies increase opportunities for farmer success, increase workers’ quality of life, support independent local businesses, raise animal welfare outcomes, and are environmentally sustainable.
We’re changing the narrative about agriculture in the U.S. and exposing the harm corporate power causes to our food system. We’re elevating an inclusive narrative that inspires meaningful engagement from all through sharing stories from the farm and field.
Stories carry information that might not otherwise be known. Stories create and showcase our culture. Stories emotionally connect us to others; they spark empathy and inspire us to act. We’re connecting stories to tell a complete narrative: from farmers, to agricultural workers, to consumers — we are one community with the power to change our future.
Pictured: Remembrance event for agricultural workers lost to COVID-19.
November 5, 2020 event featuring members of the Western North Carolina Workers’ Center and the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry.
In 2017, RAFI-USA produced a film, Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print. For the first time in a full-length documentary, contract farmers tell their stories and industry experts reveal how the corporate production model pits farmer against farmer. The film takes audiences on a road trip across the American South and to Southern India to understand what’s happening to farmers living under contract and what we can do to change our food system for the better. The story of the contract farmer is the story of what’s changing in rural America. Power in agriculture is changing hands, but few people know what’s happening to the farmers producing our food. Click the image below or here to watch the film.