Over 4 million workers in the United States are directly involved in farm work and food production. Some tend to crops and livestock, while others harvest, process, and package the food we consume every day. Unfortunately, the selfless efforts of these unsung heroes haven’t been appreciated enough, leading to a huge pay gap between farm and non-farm workers. The people who work so hard to feed the country struggle to feed their families.
Although farmers are essential workers, below-par wages and poor working conditions are forcing some to reconsider their future in the farming industry. As an individual, there are different ways you can support local farmers; from shopping at the local farmers’ market to donating and volunteering to organizations whose mission is to look out for the interests of farmers. But what can significantly transform the lives of farmers is fair wages. Below, we will look at how fair wages can make a positive difference for local farmers.
Improved Living Conditions
The current farmer’s wages have failed to keep up with inflation. Fair wages can help cushion local farmers from the increasing costs of living, and they will have access to quality healthcare, provide their kids with quality education, and put food on their tables. With better income, a larger number of individuals and families in the farming sector will no longer struggle to make ends meet.
Moreover, increasing farmers’ wages will benefit the entire economy. Agricultural communities will now have more purchasing power, and this money will be pumped back into the economy when they spend it. Putting money in people’s pockets, which is a win-win for everyone.
Better income definitely boosts the morale of workers. Due to poor wages, many farmers are unmotivated at their job, and others are contemplating switching careers. Better pay will make them feel appreciated, and in turn, they will put more effort into the job.
Trigger a High Level of Output
Research shows that a higher income creates a culture of high output. Fairer wages can motivate local farmers to produce even better products than they already deliver. This will add more value to the product, leading to even better prices for the farmer.
Address Racial and Gender Inequities
It’s no secret that foreign workers and women in the farming industry are underpaid. These demographics, who work as hard as the other groups, currently receive less than what they deserve. Fair wages can bridge the payment gap and eradicate inequality in the sector.
Reduce Hiring and Training Costs
Due to low wages, farmers struggle to retain their employees. This comes at a cost, as the farmer has to dedicate time and resources to locate and train a new hire. This can increase the cost of production and cause losses on the farmer’s part. With better pay, employee retention rates will increase.
Promote Investment in Greener Farming Solutions
With so little income, it’s difficult for farmers to invest in green solutions. Sustainable farming practices require a level of investment, yet most farmers currently lack the financial power to go green. Fairer wages can give farmers access to extra funds, which they can use to experiment with new solutions.
Better Farmer Mental Health
A significant number of farmers experience mental health problems due to economic uncertainty. Factors such as falling commodity prices and increasing levels of farm debt are major stressors in farming, and fairer wages can help to ease some of these problems.
With our collective effort, we can help improve the living conditions of farmers in many ways. We can support local farmers by buying produce directly from them and raising awareness of the struggles they go through. If you want to shop from an online marketplace that understands and supports the causes you care about, check out Purpusly. Our platform markets products that promote something bigger. Visit our site to discover different products and start making an impact!