How do you define social equity when it comes to food?
Society’s equal access to healthy and organic food. We strive to provide our customers, employees, vendors, and farmers with livable prices, pay, and wages that foster just that—equal access to a sound livelihood.

How do we bring social wellbeing and livelihoods awareness to our food?
We do this by investing in Fair for Life certification, paying a livable wage, living and working in an ethical manner, and encouraging consumers to ask the questions, “Who grew this?” and “Where was it grown?” In addition, taking an active role in this process and involving a third party such as the Institute for Marketecology in the oversight of the supply chain is key, as is the willingness to invest in a higher standard of production and handling.

Describe what a socially conscious food system looks like for you.
It involves awareness and involvement in all aspects of the supply chain, especially knowing your suppliers and the workforce they rely upon. Equally important is investing in and buying from environmentally conscious businesses, as this practice is tightly integrated with social consciousness.

How do you define social equity when it comes to food?
In our view, it is almost impossible to create true change if you are not considering a holistic set of principles at each step of the supply chain. Social equity in food means equalizing power throughout agricultural supply chains.

How do we bring social wellbeing and livelihoods awareness to our food?
Food consciousness is primarily focused on animal welfare and supporting local food. These are important, but do not consider the well-being of the people working the land, processing the food, and serving the meals. Food consciousness expands upon supporting organizations that organize, attending events to hear firsthand about the livelihoods of those working in the agricultural system, and purchasing from stores and brands that center around social well-being.

Describe what a socially conscious food system looks like for you.
A socially conscious food system does not exist until we acknowledge and dismantle the oppression of the people who built and currently sustain our food system. Until we do, we will never fully achieve the 16 domestic fair trade principles that our members have committed to, including democratic and participatory ownership, family-scale farming, equality and opportunity.

How do you define social equity when it comes to food?
We address social equity by making sure that all people—regardless of income—can exercise their right to choose healthier foods for their family.

How do we bring social wellbeing and livelihoods awareness to our food?
The root cause of hunger and food inequality is poverty, and the root cause of poverty is unemployment, underemployment, and wages that haven’t been able to keep up with inflation and the economic condition of the country. A variety of policy aspects are going to need to be addressed over time, but in the meantime there are children growing up who don’t have access to healthy food. We need to take care of that.

Describe what a socially conscious food system looks like for you.
When we look at an equitable food system, we see a system where everybody, regardless of income, can exercise their choice to feed their families healthily or not. There are people out there who might not care about what they’re putting on the table. But for every one of those people there are several who do care. A truly equitable food system is a food system where everybody, regardless of income, can make that choice.

How do you define social equity when it comes to food?
We define food equity as everyone in the food system—from the grower to the consumer—being positively impacted. Consumers have the right to quality, fresh food free of pesticides and environmental pollutants. On the growing side, farmer-owners and farmworkers deserve fair wages for their work.

How do we bring social wellbeing and livelihoods awareness to our food?
As a farmer and educator, I often engage people in conversations that connect our food choices to our social, environmental and physical wellbeing. Oko Farms collaborates with schools and nonprofit organizations to use farming as a tool for facilitating health and wellness.

Describe what a socially conscious food system looks like for you.
A socially conscious food system includes first and foremost policy that reflects the needs of communities and fosters food sovereignty, fair wages, humane treatment of animals, and environmental stewardship.