Almost all of the food we eat passes through the hands of workers who grow, catch, harvest, process, transport, prepare, and serve it.

Our vision for a fair and just food system is one that creates meaningful and rewarding work to the 21.5 million workers that are essential to our survival. We’re working towards a food system that recognizes and values the important work of food system workers, and enables ALL people to work with dignity, livable wages, and meaning. We believe that our food system should be managed by more cooperative ownership and shaped more democratically by the decisions of the many, not the few.

This vision is reflected in the first plank of HEAL’s Platform For Real Food: Dignity for All Workers and their Families. Explore the plank using this toolkit - learn about the historical context that guides our work, our solutions, what HEAL members are doing to realize our collective goals, the resources that guide us and how you too can take action towards building a food system that values the workers who are at its center. 

Our Solutions

  • Eliminate the tipped minimum wage and set a livable minimum wage
  • End exploitation of incarcerated people on penal farms and for food production
  • Equalize labor laws; extend all NLRA and FLSA protections to farmworkers and other exempt workers
  • Include worker and community reports of violations in environmental and labor standards enforcement
  • Increase labor protections and benefits for workers in the food and agriculture sectors
  • Mandate third party labor inspections for compliance with worker protections
  • Ratify the remaining six conventions of the United Nations International Labor Organization Reform immigration laws
  • Create pathways to legalization for all undocumented people, including pathways to citizenship for those that want it, and end deportations until a comprehensive policy is in place
  • Establish federal programs to incentivize worker-owned food production, processing, and service-cooperatives

Member Dispatches

Jeannie Economos at the HEAL-FCWA Summit, 2019



Join us as we talk to three organizers from food worker-led organizations talk about the challenges faced by food workers in various sectors of the food chain. This webinar also offers a brief look at the historical roots of the food and farm industries in our country, and illustrates why workers are central to the transformation of our food and farm systems!