Companies are lobbying hard against the contract growers’ bill of rights, on Capitol Hill and in rural America. Farmers report that company representatives are visiting farms in person, telling them to sign comments that oppose the rule. Farmers have been told to sign comment letters on the rules that the company had written, while company personnel watched and waited to collect the comment. These are exactly the kind of intimidation tactics that the proposed rule would prevent.
In a letter to the editor last month, grower Casey Wilson explained what was at stake: “Under the current rules, the growers have no real protection from unethical or unfair treatment from the integrators. The integrators have total control of the farms and are not obligated to deal equitably with the growers… It’s an excellent example of the fox guarding the hen house.”
The USDA is only accepting public comments on the rule for 11 more days. Comments are the most powerful tool we have to make sure farmers win the rights they’ve been demanding for decades.
For more information and to send a comment, go to: https://www.rafidb.org/alert/6