Work and social conditions

Valuing and improving work and social conditions in food and agriculture systems

"We struggle against the exploitation and the degradation of working and social conditions and for the rights of all women and men who provide food as well as those of seasonal and migrant workers, workers in the processing, distribution and retail sector and others.” (Nyéléni Europe Declaration, August 2011)

The intensification and industrialisation of agriculture in the global food system has come at an enormous social cost and has a negative impact on working conditions in agriculture and the food system. The ultimate goal of ‘cheap food’ and production for profit directly translates into the exploitation of workers, particularly migrants, and the destruction of livelihoods of peasants and other food producers.

Many migrants working in the European food system are peasants that have been expelled from their livelihoods as a result of the global food and trade system that affects their countries of origin. Seeking to support themselves and their families in Europe, they are especially prone to exploitation, as they are not aware of the few rights they have.

To solve this social crisis and revalue farm work, we need labour and migration policies in line with food sovereignty that produce social security and a decent income for peasants to strengthen peasant agriculture. Special attention has to be paid to the rights of women, youth and workers.