150 Groups Urge Congress to Draft a Farm Bill that Creates a Thriving Future for All
Leading progressive organizations back five key priorities identified by the HEAL Food Alliance for inclusion in the 2023 Farm Bill
Washington D.C. (April 4, 2023) – On Friday, the HEAL Food Alliance sent a letter—signed by 150 diverse organizations —to Congress urging the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to pass a 2023 Farm Bill that creates an equitable, sustainable, and thriving future for all.
The organizations span food, agriculture, labor, environmental, direct service and health sectors, and represent farmers, farmworkers, food system workers, Indigenous groups, scientists, students, organizers, and more who are committed to food systems transformation.
“The HEAL Food Alliance is calling on the 118th Congress to craft Farm Bill legislation that supports thriving futures by protecting workers’ rights; improving opportunities for land access and tenure for Black, Indigenous, and farmers of color; supporting thriving farming and communities; and increasing access to nourishing food while safeguarding healthy ecosystems” said Maleeka Manurasada, National Organizer at the HEAL Food Alliance. “For too long, the farm bill enabled corporate profit at the expense of people and our ecosystems. In the face of climate chaos and mass food insecurity, the 2023 Farm Bill offers an opportunity to change that.”
In the letter, the groups assert that “previous farm bill legislation has often served as a tool for investment in harmful food practices that prioritize profit over people and the health of our natural environment.”
The group is now recommending that Congress consider five policy recommendations at the federal level in the upcoming Farm Bill:
- Securing Dignity and Fairness for Food and Farm Workers,
- Enabling BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Producers to Thrive
- Investing in Communities, not Corporations
- Nourishing People, Ensuring Access to Affordable Food
- Meeting the Urgency of Climate Change and Ensures the Survival of Ecosystems and our Planet
Notably, the group is calling for the next Farm Bill to equalize and improve labor laws and provide protections for working people, while holding bad actors accountable for labor abuses. Labor has historically been excluded from the farm bill.
The group is also urging Congress to ensure that the Farm Bill is a climate-focused bill centered on building resilience in our agricultural economy by investing in regenerative and agroecological systems, including those grounded in traditional and cultural knowledge and practices.
The HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, Labor) Food Alliance is a national multi-sector, multi-racial coalition. HEAL is led by its member-organizations, who represent about two million rural and urban farmers, ranchers, fishers, farm and food chain workers, Indigenous groups, scientists, public health advocates, policy experts, and community organizers united in their commitment to transformed food and farm systems. www.healfoodalliance.org