Field Guides to Food

The Hands That Feed Us - Food Chain Workers Alliance

The Hands That Feed Us examines the five core food occupations and industries in the foodsystem: farmworkers (production), slaughterhouse and other processing facilities workers (processing), warehouse workers (distribution), grocery store workers (retail), and restaurant and food service workers (service). It examines how corporate consolidation throughout the food chain has created universal impacts on workers in terms of low wages, small to midsize employers in terms of unfair competition, and consumers in terms of food quality and diversity. Employers interviewed unanimously commented on how multinational food corporations receiving government subsidies and tax breaks and buying up their own suppliers has created unfair and unmanageable competition.

In addition to examples of poor work environments, the report also highlights fair business practices and steps that policymakers, consumers, and employers can take to improve conditions for food system workers."

A history of how the food chain operates can be found on pages 13-17 of the report. This highlights how we, as consumers, can be involved. Page 17 includes a pie chart breaking down of the food chain workers by sector, while graphs for wages and demographics can be found on pages 19 and 20.

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