July 17, 2023
Since 2019, the Local Food Solutions project has been asking Dollar General to offer healthy, local food options in its stores, starting with four stores in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The South Valley of Albuquerque is the base of operations for the Agri-Cultura Network, a community-based and farmer-led cooperative that works to provide access to local and sustainably grown produce and spur local economic development. Agri-Cultura Network and its network of more than 70 farms and ranches use traditional and innovative agricultural practices to improve environmental and community stewardship and strengthen the agrarian and cultural heritage of their land and its residents. Local Food Solutions is offering a path forward for Dollar General to provide highly desirable, local food to its customers, and in doing so, reinvest in the communities where its stores operate.Read More
June 12, 2023
This year, the environmental health and justice organizations, small-scale farmers and farmworker advocates that make up Coming Clean’s Climate, Food Agriculture and Climate (CFAC) team have been educating lawmakers on the need for a transformative 2023 Farm Bill. In a letter to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and through in-person office visits, we’ve called for a Farm Bill that prioritizes community food sovereignty and equity, protects workers against exploitation, violence, and health harm, and incentivizes farmers to employ safer, regenerative, climate resilient practices that avoid the use of pesticides. Right now, the House Agriculture Committee members are submitting new language that will inform the contents of the 2023 Farm Bill, with a June 16th deadline. We are urging legislators to support the the following marker bills. Leer en español.
April 17, 2023
Some environmental advocates are pushing for more support for small farms that practice regenerative agriculture, said Jessica Swan, the community outreach organizer for the Agri-Cultura Network, a farmer cooperative in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She and her colleagues want the new Farm Bill to include new rules that not only cut chemically intensive farming practices nationwide and protect workers from pesticide-related illnesses, but also make farmer conservation programs more accessible to people who own small or urban farms. They also want to see crop insurance and commodity programs reward more farmers for organic and regenerative practices. In a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott, Agri-Cultura and 49 other food and agriculture organizations called for these measures and also called on Congress to block funds that support large, polluting animal agriculture operations.Read More
March 23, 2023
Today, Coming Clean hosted a lobby day for members to meet with Congressional leaders to urge them to prioritize community food sovereignty and farmworker protections in the upcoming farm bill reauthorization, while incentivizing reductions in pesticide use. Members from across the country, including small farmers and farmworkers, scheduled visits throughout the day with lawmakers from their districts to highlight reforms that are most important to them and their communities.
November 16, 2022
Today, 50 organizations sent a public letter to the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, calling for a transformative 2023 Farm Bill. They urged the legislators to incentivize reductions in pesticide use, include provisions to protect farmworker health, and increase funding and research for organic and regenerative farming, representing fenceline communities, food system workers and farmworkers, family farmers, businesses, scientists, and environmental health and justice organizations.The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that global agriculture contributes 34% of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change, but the Farm Bill has not explicitly addressed climate change since 1990. An estimated 1 billion pounds of pesticides, manufactured from fossil fuel feedstocks, are used on United States farms each year. The next Farm Bill could decrease agricultural carbon emissions by incentivizing farmers to reduce reliance on pesticides, in favor of regenerative, climate-resilient practices such as certified organic farming, the letter states.Read More
September 29, 2022
Neza Xiuhtecutli spent most of Thursday calling and texting and retexting colleagues along Florida's storm-battered southwest coast, hoping to reach someone who can shed light on damage there. Xiuhtecutli, executive director of the Farmworker Association of Florida, was particularly worried about the scores of migrant farmworkers who live and work in Hurricane Ian's destructive path. Undocumented workers, many of whom work the area's citrus, strawberry and sugarcane fields, are particularly vulnerable during natural disasters and in their aftermath, he said. There are an estimated 700,000 farm workers in Florida, about half of them undocumented. "My biggest fear is they don’t have access to food, don’t have power and don’t have information that helps them stay safe," Xiuhtecutli said. "They're vulnerable." Read More
September 7, 2022
At the core of the lawsuit, filed by attorneys Trent Taylor at Farmworker Justice and Anna Hill Galendez at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, is the claim that Reyes Saucedo and about 200 other farmworkers were exposed to dangerous pesticides because Mastronardi Farms failed to provide the kinds of training, proper protective gear, and ventilation required by federal laws. And those workers are far from alone. According to several experts and evidence compiled in multiple new reports, those laws are inadequate and there’s very little incentive across the industry to follow them. Furthermore, the EPA is tasked with enforcing the rules while the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)—the agency usually in charge of protecting workers from on-the-job hazards, including pesticide exposure in other industries—is out of the loop. Read More
Pesticide labels are more like long technical manuals, sometimes totaling 30-plus pages. The intent of all that information is to minimize the risk of handling the highly toxic chemicals. And there are a lot of risks: Depending on the strength of the pesticide and exposure, farmworkers who come into contact with pesticides can land in a hospital with headaches, rashes, vomiting, and nausea, not to mention the potential for serious long-term health consequences like cancer. While Spanish is the dominant language for 62 percent of farmworkers in the U.S., pesticide labels are typically only printed in English. “We’ve been fighting for bilingual pesticide labels for 15 or 20 years,” says Jeannie Economos, pesticide safety and environmental health project coordinator with the Farmworker Association of Florida. “It’s very frustrating.”Read More
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