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AJP Standards

AJP Social Stewardship Standards

The AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (“AJP standards”) outline what fair working and trading conditions look like in practical terms. The AJP standards were written by farmworkers, community-scale farmers, and other advocates for food justice, and these same stakeholders oversee our Food Justice Certification program, which verifies that business entities meet the standards. The rest of this toolkit—and the AJP’s technical assistance program in general—is designed to help you implement the practices and policies prescribed by our standards.

The full standards are available in this toolkit section (see below) and also as a printable PDF in English.

Note: The Spanish translation of the current standards revision is forthcoming. In the meantime, please see the previous edition translation and details of changes made in the 2019 revisions:


Pages in this section

Summaries & Resources
Quick introductions to the AJP standards and other resources not officially a part of the AJP standards document. Start here if you're wondering what the AJP standards are all about.
Front Matter
Social Stewardship Standards for Farms, Ranches, and Other Food and Agriculture Businesses # 2019 Published Version 4 # “Eating is an agricultural act.” -Wendell Berry Our Stakeholders # The Agricultural Justice Project (AJP) is stakeholder-driven, governed and committed to the principles of democratic leadership. We consider stakeholders those who work in the food and agricultural system who shoulder too many of the burdens and enjoy too few of the benefits of how our food and agricultural system operates.
Executive Summary
The Agricultural Justice Project bases these standards for fair trade and social justice in the food system on the Declaration of Human Rights, the conventions of the International Labor Organization and the experience of farmers, farmworkers, and other participants in the current food system in the United States and Canada. The Agricultural Justice Project works to transform the existing agricultural system into one based on empowerment, justice and fairness for all who labor from farm to retail.
Definitions
This glossary is part of the AJP Social Stewardship Standards, 2019 edition.
Background
General Principles # For the authors, as for many organic farmers around the world and the hundreds of organizations which have signed on to the IFOAM principles, social justice and social rights are integral aspects of organic agriculture, processing, distribution, and retailing. These principles of social justice are essential: To allow everyone involved in organic and sustainable production and processing a quality of life that meets their basic needs and allows an adequate return and satisfaction from their work, including a safe working environment.
Applying the Standards
What Certification Means # Standards are outlined for both labor and trade practices of the operation including: working conditions, pay and benefits, participation and training for workers and interns, negotiations, pricing, and contracting between buyers and sellers. All entities are welcomed to apply. Please see the AJP Policy Manual for our requirements regarding partial chain labeling and multi-ingredient products. AJP and Organic Certification # AJP standards can be applied to a continuum of operations, however specific standards compliance for health/safety and toxic exposure requirements regarding farmers, workers, children and interns will be different depending on the type of operation and the materials used.
1.0 Food Business Responsibilities
Complete text of Section 1 of the AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (2019v4), the standards covering food business responsibilities to farmers.
2.0 Farmer Responsibilities to Buyers
Complete text of Section 2 of the AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (2019v4), the standards covering farmer responsibilities to buyers.
3.0 Farm Employer Responsibilities
Complete text of Section 3 of the AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (2019v4), the standards covering farm responsibilities to employees and interns.
4.0 Food Business Employer Responsibilities
Complete text of Section 4 of the AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (2019v4), the standards covering food business responsibilities to employees and interns.
5.0 Grower Groups
Complete text of Section 5 of the AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (2019v4), the standards covering grower groups.
6.0 Business to Business Responsibilities
Complete text of Section 6 of the AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (2019v4), the standards covering responsibilities of food businesses to other food businesses.
7.0 Non-Profits and Non-Profit Cooperatives
Complete text of Section 7 of the AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (2019v4), the standards covering nonprofits.
DRAFT Labor Contractor Responsibilities
Complete text of Section 8 of the AJP’s Social Stewardship Standards (2019v4), a draft of potential standards covering labor contractors.
2019 Revisions
Documentation of updates to the standards from the 2012 to the 2019 versions, including public comments and response.