Food justice is about workers

"I paid for college by working at restaurants. That gave me a worm's eye view."

Jose Oliva is the codirector of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, which aims to improve wages and working conditions for “all workers across the food chain.” The FCWA recently helped develop a Good Food Purchasing Policy, a set of standards that emphasizes local economies, sustainable production, fair treatment of workers, animal welfare, and nutrition. These standards have been adopted in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. Oliva lives in Chicago.

How did you get interested in the connections between food, justice, and workers’ rights?

My family are refugees from Guate­mala. After arriving in the United States, my family and a few other families started an organization called Casa Guate­mala for mutual support. I was a volunteer in the organization.