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foodworkers’ rights

Women in Agriculture

For over a century, the world has celebrated International Women’s Day. From its roots in socialist activism, the day has been transformed into a national holiday in countries throughout the world. During this period, progress has been made:  in many countries, women are now political leaders and business leaders (though still …

Who is a Farmer? {Guest Post by Braam Hanekom}

How important is terminology? When we choose to call some people who work the land “farmers,” while labeling others as “farmworkers,” what power are we according them?  In Ripe with Abuse, I carefully distinguished between “farmers” and “farmworkers,” using the former to refer to someone who owned the land, and …

You Can’t Spin Away Labor Exploitation

Last week, I wedged myself into a crowded church in rural South Africa, listening to farmworkers recite a litany of complaints about working conditions on their farms. As people spoke, the farmworkers kept coming, in pairs and small groups, trickling in after Sunday services or other commitments. After over an …

On Enforcement

Labor laws are only as good as their monitoring and enforcement mechanisms. I was reminded of this the other day when reading an article in the South African Sunday Times, which stated that the grocery chain Woolworths was investigating claims of abuse and unfair labor practices on one of its …