By Elizabeth Henderson

In a world where fair trade prevailed, family-scale farms, both rural and urban, would prosper, paying living wages to the farmers and to all employees, forming the backbone of a stable economy.  Farm gate prices would cover the full cost of production including these wages, a decent benefits package with full health coverage, a retirement fund, workers compensation and unemployment insurance, funds to maintain and develop the farm, and ten percent for savings.  Farmers would not be under pressure to overproduce and would practice conservation of the soil and of all the natural resources upon which the farm depends.  If a farm raised livestock, the animals would enjoy the five freedoms. Access to a healthy supply of food would be considered a basic human right. Contracts with buyers would be negotiated and long-term, farmers would be free to discuss the conditions of the contract with other farmers, their family and legal advisors and a conflict resolution process would make it possible to discuss differences and grievances without retaliation.  Buyers would only cancel contracts for just cause. Continue reading “What Domestic Fair Trade Means for Farmers”