09 June 2020

Food Justice Is Racial Justice

To our vendors, shoppers and community members:

We are outraged by the injustice and institutional racism that still plagues our city, state and nation. We acknowledge the trauma and pain suffered by so many for so long. Our hearts are heavy for the communities we serve, our neighbors and the Black business owners who make their livings at our markets. America has arrived at a tipping point. We cannot delay action on justice for these communities any longer.

Racial inequity has deep roots in agriculture and business ownership. While people of color make up a majority of American farmworkers, they face disproportionate economic and systemic barriers to starting farms of their own. History and institutional policies contributed to the incredible loss of Black-owned land during the 20th century.

Farmers markets have a responsibility to amplify the voices of people who have not been heard and share their stories. We will continue to prioritize partnering with and promoting minority-owned farms, food businesses and community organizations. We will accelerate our efforts to eliminate inequities in our policies and actions.

It’s more important than ever that equity, inclusion and justice are at the forefront of everything we do. Today, we commit to educating ourselves and our community about historical discrimination in agriculture. Tomorrow, we will take steps to realize a more fair and equitable food system.

In Solidarity,
Portland Farmers Market Staff and Board of Directors


Informative Reading List:

Farming While Black

Freedom Farmers

Collective Courage: Jessica Gordon Nembhard on Black Economic Solidarity https://www.policylink.org/blog/collective-courage

African Americans Have Lost Untold Acres of Farmland Over the Last Century

A directory of Portland Black-owned Restaurants

A list of anti-racism resources