AJP standards require that every farm have a written conflict resolution process that includes a clear way for employees to present complaints without fear of retaliation. This page provides examples of such policies and other resources related to conflict resolution. AJP standards require that a workplace train everyone on staff in the conflict resolution process, so that everyone knows what to do and where to turn to get resolution if a conflict arises.
Farm businesses can take advantage of professional mediation services offered as part of the USDA’s Agricultural Mediation Program, usually at no cost. Find a service provider in the USDA’s list of participating programs and include their services as part of your conflict resolution process. AMP services are available for a range of farm-related disputes, typically including disputes with lenders, landlords, family members, and employees. (See also How To Vet A Mediator.)
For Food Justice Certified workplaces, conflicts between employees and their employer that cannot be resolved through an internal conflict resolution process can be filed as a grievance with the AJP.
Example policies and resources: #
Conflict Resolution Guidelines (Olympia Food Coop): a simple, straightforward process shared in our Model Handbook for Employees. Easy to adopt and train your employees in.
Courageous Conversation Protocol (Soul Fire Farm): a process for resolving differences and difficult feelings.
Direct Communication in the Context of Conflict (Dragonfly Partners): advice for communicating clearly and effectively to resolve workplace friction.
Two excellent, longer resources that can be used for learning, skill-building, and training purposes:
See also two video guides from the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence on defusing conflict in farm workplaces: