Posted in NC Meat Production, Smithfield
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“…food producers should receive fair compensation for their work…” Slow Food philosophy
If you missed NOW’s show on the unionization effort at Smithfield, you can watch/listen here. The issues of worker conditions and organizing rights are clearly relevant to Slow Food. I have no answers, but plenty of questions- how can we create an alternative to the “race to the bottom” system of large industrial meat production? What sort of viable alternatives work and how do we get there (currently farmer’s market prices are about 4 times as much as industrial pork)? Certified Humane certification is catching on, but what about certification for fair compensation and treatment of workers. Can we apply the principles of Fair Trade domestically? Smithfield has acquired more than 30 companies since the early eighties. Do we even know a Smithfield product when we see one? What does the Slow Food movement have to offer the workers in Tar Heel? How can we use our resources (as citizens, workers and consumers or Slow Food “co-producers”) to create a system that feeds people, builds communities and provides jobs instead of just enriching shareholders? This issue will not go away with the unionization effort- the world’s largest hog factory is in our backyard and its something we will be dealing with for a long time.
If you are new to this issue, here’s some background:
Like Hogs to Slaughter (Independent)
If there is another side not represented here, please include it in the comments.
It’s time to get the conversation started- What do you think? What can we do?