Food & Farm Worker Protection

Marylanders for Food & Farm Worker Protection Coalition

Marylanders for Food and Farm Worker Protection (MFFWP) is a broad, diverse coalition that uses advocacy, grassroots organizing, and public education to win basic health and safety rights and protections for the poultry workers, crab pickers, and field workers rendered vulnerable by our industrialized food system.

In March of 2020, Maryland Pesticide Education Network convened a subcommittee of its Smart on Pesticides members who shared a concern about how shortages of PPE (personal protective equipment) would impact farmworkers who are required to apply pesticides for Maryland’s agriculture industry. It soon became apparent that the hazards for Maryland’s food workers–poultry workers and crab pickers—and farmworkers extended far further. Migrant and immigrant workers, as well as workers residing in these communities, saw disproportionate infection and death rates. Workers were frequently given no masks or other protection and coerced to work when sick with COVID-19. These essential workers are routinely denied the protections that other workers take for granted, circumstances made worse by the pandemic.

Learn how data collection needs to be improved to protect the public: No Data, No Problem Fact Sheet

Read our 2023 Briefing: Protections for Maryland Farmworkers, Poultry, and Seafood Processing Workers

Marylanders for Food and Farm Worker Protection is a unique coalition, in that its member environmental groups with legislative expertise and grassroots power, are guided by its boots-on-the-ground worker protection member groups, as well as public health and labor law experts. MFFWP works effectively through its subcommittees: Policy and Laws Committee; Health and Outreach Committee; and Coordinating Committee.

Latest MFFWP News

Two Maryland Legislators Awarded for Advancing PFAS Protection for Frontline Farmworkers.

May 12, 2023: For their groundbreaking work to protect Marylanders from the toxic ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS in pesticides. Read the press release.

Inaugural Excellence in Worker Health Award given to Somerset Co. Health Department Migrant Health Program.

December 15, 2022: For their history of commitment to meeting the health needs of seasonal agricultural workers, particularly those living in migrant camps. Read the press release.

Maryland Lacks Appropriate Systems to Track COVID Cases Among Poultry, Migrant, and Seasonal Farm and Food Workers

May 24, 2022, Annapolis, Md. – Marylanders for Food and Farm Worker Protection calls on the state to adopt new measures to help curb infectious diseases by collecting better COVI-19 data for the poultry industry and migrant seasonal food and farm workers. Read the press release

Maryland Essential Workers Protection Act Passes State Legislature, Safeguarding Food and Farm Workers During Enduring Pandemic

Passed: HB581/SB486 which includes the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that our coalition set out to pass! It requires the State to issue mandatory protection for essential workers, including food & farm workers. Read the press release.

Coalitions OpEd: Maryland Matters – Termination of Emergency Mandate  Leaves Vulnerable Population At Risk

About MFFWP Coalition

The Marylanders for Food & Farm Workers Coalition is facilitated by the Maryland Pesticide Education Network and currently comprised of 15 organizations who came together in April 2020 to collaborate on our shared mission to require mandatory COVID-19 protections for the “essential workers” who feed us but have been denied these and other basic worker protections.

MFFWP Organization members include:

  • CATA – The Farmworkers Support Committee
  • Center for Progressive Reform
  • Centro de los Derechos de Migrante
  • Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Children’s Environmental Health Network
  • Fair Farms
  • Farmworker Justice
  • Food & Water Watch
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights
  • Maryland Clean Water Action
  • Maryland Pesticide Education Network
  • Migrant Clinicians Network
  • National Employment Law Project
  • Public Justice Center
  • Sunrise Baltimore / Sunrise Maryland
  • Consultants in labor, law, and public health

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For more information or to join our efforts, contact us.