Keeping agriculture accountable

If you’ve read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation or Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe’s Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet, or seen the documentary film Our Daily Bread, you may, like I do, wonder what we can do to work towards keeping agriculture accountable. While policy allows large agricultural businesses to gobble up the land and crowd out the smaller farms, and regulators avert their eyes when practices in meat processing plants endanger people’s lives, it seems that there may be a way to work towards creating an accountability system through public pressure.

I was introduced to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index: A Report Card on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Equality in Corporate America, http://www.hrc.org/documents/HRC_Corporate_Equality_Index_2008.pdf through my husband, and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind.

Looking at the data, it’s clear that this survey, given once a year at large Fortune 500 corporations who opt in, has made a difference in corporation’s training and practices regarding the treatment of this particular minority group. Though I’m not sure how one would go about gaining the support of a non-profit to create such a survey for the agricultural community, nor how to get the survey to be important enough for a corporation to want to be on it, I love the idea and believe that it could make some sort of difference in workplace practices in these large agricultural organizations.

I invite any thoughts or ideas!

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