HEAL Platform for Real Food

Over the last 30 years, the consolidation of companies in the food industry has reached historic proportions. For instance, just four companies control over 80 percent of the market for processing beef; just two companies distribute 75 percent of the food in this country; one company sells nearly one third of the groceries. The system is functionally dominated by multinational monopolies, and these agribusiness and junk food corporations use their immense political and economic power to distort the market and maintain their stranglehold on our food system. These companies abuse their unprecedented buyer power to squeeze farmers and food chain workers further up the supply chain, and wreak havoc on our health and the environment in the process.

We need democratic, transparent, community-controlled agriculture, fisheries and food systems in which all producers, especially those who have been historically marginalized, have access to fair and functional markets. These producers need to receive fair and stable prices above their costs of production that fairly compensate them for both their labor and management to ensure fair livelihoods for farmers, fishers, and workers. We need new governing structures that impose real limits on corporate power and the political systems that shape and regulate our food and agriculture systems, including trade deals. We need to ensure the protection of natural resources, public health, and fair working conditions in order to ensure that producers, workers, and communities have real power to shape food, fisheries, and agriculture systems.

Our Solutions

  • Reduce and regulate industry consolidation: implement and enforce anti-trust law, especially the Packer and Stockyards Act, and strengthen “Actively Engaged in Farming” rules
  • Reform federal farm subsidy programs, including the federal crop insurance program, so that they equally support diverse growing practices and all farmers, including farmers of color, small and midsize farmers, and independent and historically underserved farmers
  • Re-instate supply management and grain reserves and a fair pricing system
  • Secure fair pricing and contracts for livestock, produce and seafood
  • Reclaim public institutions to achieve greater transparency: keep land grants in the public interest, and ensure representation of farmers, workers, and consumers on government advisory bodies
  • Fight and reduce financial speculation in food and agriculture
  • Reform trade rules and trade institutions to rebuild and protect local food systems, and establish transparent processes for public review and input