Building in progress for the community food distribution store. Photo Credit: Edgar Franks
Cooperativa Tierra y Libertad is a farmworker owned cooperative in Everson, WA. When it was first established in 2017, it was just located in a small half acre piece of land that was on loan from a local church. Throughout the years and constant organizing, the coop has now expanded to a 65 acre farm. What was once a monocrop raspberry field that used chemicals to fertilize and for pest control is now slowly being converted to an all organic farm with diverse crops and animals. The project is modeled after the Ejido systems that exist throughout Latin America, especially in Mexico.
Just Transition Alliance visited the farm and contributed solidarity funding to the construction of a new addition to the farm project. Workers are in the process of building a store/distribution center where all the food that is gathered at the farm can be made available to the community, especially for farmworkers. Food, in particular organic food, is really expensive and the coop feels that those who work the land and harvest the crops should be able to afford basic things. The idea is to not only give food at affordable prices but also to be a space for people to gather and learn about worker owned cooperatives, unions, and organizing.
For farmworkers, this is what just transition looks like.