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AJP Toolkit

Agricultural Justice Project Toolkit logo

Welcome to our toolkit! #

The AJP Toolkit collects guidance and resources to help you build a business and workplace that’s fair and accountable to workers, small-scale farmers, and communities.

This toolkit began as a set of resources to help farms and ranches meet the AJP’s Food Justice Certification standards, and we are updating and expanding these resources to better help farmworkers, food chain workers, food business employers, nonprofit employers, and all buyers of farm products, regardless of whether you’re pursuing Food Justice Certification. These resources are also of interest to educators, advocacy organizations, and community members working for a more just food system.

Please do… #

  • Share this toolkit!
  • Make sure you comply with local, state, and federal laws. We aren’t lawyers, and labor and trade regulations vary in different places. You are responsible for complying with all applicable laws.
  • Use and adapt these resources to make your farm or food workplace a fair, thriving place to work.
  • Use and adapt these resources to improve and deepen relationships among workers, farmers, food businesses, and customers.
  • Use these resources as learning and discussion tools in your community.
  • Give credit to the authors of any toolkit resources you use.
  • Contact the AJP for help with implementing fair policies, increasing your revenues through fair business relationships, or seeking Food Justice Certification.
  • Sign our guestbook, offer us feedback, and tell us how you’ve used the toolkit.

Free to use & share #

These resources were compiled by the AJP, and original authors of linked resources retain all rights as noted in their works. Everything here is free to use and share, including for use in your business, as long as you give credit to the original authors whose works you use. The AJP-authored portions of the toolkit are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

What’s in the toolkit? #

Inside you’ll find different kinds of resources:

  • guidance on workplace and business practices;
  • reference materials;
  • templates and forms;
  • model policies and practices;
  • and links to other organizations who can help you or offer more specialized knowledge.

Legal vs. fair. Much of this toolkit aims at supporting practices that are fair rather than merely compliant with the law. US labor law lags far behind other industrialized nations in the rights and protections it offers workers, and US farm labor law is even worse. Legal compliance, while absolutely necessary, is not enough to ensure dignified working conditions.

We share the resources in this toolkit to help your workplace meet the rigorous standards of AJP’s Food Justice Certification program. These standards were written by workers and small-scale farmers as a benchmark for justice and fairness in food production.

You are responsible for following all local, state, and federal laws. This toolkit does not offer professional legal advice. Consult a farm or labor organization in your area for information on legal compliance. See our Recommended Legal Resources.

How to use the toolkit #

  • Employers and managers: Use the toolkit to implement fair workplace practices, build a committed team, develop your business and your management skills, negotiate fair trading relationships, and communicate your values and needs to your community.
  • Workers: Use the toolkit to negotiate better working conditions, grow opportunities for leadership and workplace democracy, and build connections with others around a vision of fair work.
  • Producers & Buyers: Negotiate fair prices and terms of sale, and develop reciprocal, committed relationships with business partners.

Most of this toolkit deals with relationships within a business or workplace. The section on Profitability & Buyer-Seller Relationships includes resources on relationships between businesses and relationships with customers.