Rural Migration Blog
Covid-19 and Agriculture: Efficiency versus ResilienceThe Covid-19 pandemic disrupted national and global economies and food systems, prompting a discussion of efficiency versus resilience in supply chains, including the food supply chain. In the US, the food supply system experienced a demand shock as consumers stocked up on food and staples in March 2020 and a supply shock when meatpacking plants closed in April and May 2020 as workers contracted the virus.
Hired Farm Work Force Reports, 1945-87
Average employment in US agriculture declined by 75 percent between 1945 and 2020, from almost 10 million to less than 2.5 million. The hired worker share of average employment in US agriculture doubled from a third to two-thirds over this 75-year period.
Mexican Braceros and US Farm Workers
The Bracero program refers to agreements between the US and Mexican governments that allowed Mexican workers to fill seasonal jobs on US farms. Both the 1917-21 and the 1942-64 Bracero programs that were begun in wartime and continued after WWI and WWII ended. Second, there were gaps between program regulations and workplace realities that became apparent over time and contributed to US decisions to end both programs.
Social and Labor Audits
The social and labor audit business is expanding rapidly as buyers or brands require their suppliers to pass audits that check on supplier compliance with labor and environmental laws. Some buyers require their suppliers to comply with more than minimum labor or environmental standards.