artist credit: Jesus Guillen
Under the program area of Food Sovereignty, C2C currently has three projects:
Transforming the Food System
Each project combines community education, action, and reflection as we strive for Food Sovereignty: the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.
For over 3 years, Community to Community farmworker leaders worked with grassroots food sovereignty organizations across the nation to develop a joint position of what food sovereignty is in the United States. Through many meetings and discussions, we discovered that food justice was not enough. We found that in other countries, peasant movements are talking about food sovereignty. The notion of being a sovereign human being — with the most basic needs that we have as humans — means having control of the food that we eat. This includes knowing where the food comes from, what it is, and whenever possible, having access to land to create our own food sources.
In efforts to create solidarity among grassroots organizations in defining food sovereignty in the United States, C2C spent 3 days at the 2010 US Social Forum developing the Statement from the People’s Movement Assembly on Food Sovereignty. This statement comes from frontline communities struggling to survive in urban and rural areas and lays the ground work for our food sovereignty programs.
Community to Community is proud to have been a support to this local campesino union. They battled for years to negotiate a contract with Sakuma Brothers Farms and in late 2016 won respect and change from the berry company.
Labor Rights Education
C2C is a partner of the Agricultural Justice Project which developed and distributes the Food Justice Certified label. This label is based on high-bar social justice standards for farms, processors, and retailers, including every link in the food chain from farm to table. The approach is holistic; ensuring fair treatment of workers, fair pricing for farmers, and fair business practices. Food Justice Certified is designed for all agricultural production systems, fiber and cosmetics as well as food.
C2C is a member of the Domestic Fair Trade Association - a national coalition of farmers, farmworkers, retailers, and processors dedicated to a more just, healthful and sustainable food system. One of the DFTA's primary goals is to educate consumers about social justice and fair trade food labels.
Nothing About Us Without Us: Researchers from the University of Washington partnered with C2C to conduct a community-wide survey and housing assessments for farmworkers in Skagit and Whatcom Counties. In the summer of 2018, our Promotoras completed 348 farmworker peer-to-peer surveys and 24 housing assessments. Read a summary of the survey results here.
Transforming the Food System
At C2C we believe farmworker justice is deeply intertwined with the struggles of small-scale organic farmers against an increasingly corporatized and industrialized agricultural system. For this reason we participate in the following organizations and movements dedicated to transforming our food system.
The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) works to end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system. In 2018 grassroots organizations, activists, faith-based communities, scholars, union members, farmers and fisherfolk, and other food chain workers from around the US and the world converged on Bellingham, WA, for the IV National Assembly of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA). Linked below is the declaration that resulted from that assembly.
Whatcom Food Systems Committee
Whatcom Food Systems Committee is a coalition of private and public partners committed to creating a healthy, just and sustainable food system, which grew out of the Washington state Food Systems Roundtable. Rosalinda Guillen and C2C have been members of the Washington State Food Systems Roundtable since 2012, assisting in the drafting and amendments made to the farm worker provisions in the Roundtable’s Prospectus: A Roadmap for Washington’s Food System. For more information about the Whatcom Food Systems Committee, contact Labor Representative Maureen Darras at email@example.com
C2C is a founding member of the Whatcom Food Network and continues to serve on its steering committee. WFN Works to build common understanding and facilitate collaborative efforts toward an equitable, sustainable and healthy food system for all.
As a member organization of the Climate Justice Alliance, C2C is part of a Northwest Climate Justice hub. We are also a founding member of Front and Centered. For more information on our position on a just transition, we recommend the following:
Agroecology is the science behind sustainable agriculture, from the ground up. It encourages democratic, decentralized decision-making by farmers and incorporates practical, low cost and ecology-based technologies for productive farming. Not only do agro-ecological farming methods strengthen ecological and economic resilience in the face of today's climate, water and energy crises, they offer a path forward for growing food to feed us all.
In 2015, C2C's Edgar Franks, attended Campesino a Campesino: Agroecologia Encuentro, a national gathering of farmworkers and small farmers brought together to share traditional wisdom about growing food for with respect for Mother Earth, cultural and medicinal plant uses, and analysis of the impact of corporate control of agriculture.
C2C has a teaching garden in Bellingham, WA where local farmworkers can learn and practice agro-ecological farming methods. In 2018, C2C hosted the first Pacific Northwest Peoples’ Agroecology Encuentro.