Challenging the Agrarian Imaginary: Farmworker-Led Food Movements and the Potential for Farm Labor Justice

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30 Scopus citations


This article addresses the need for more engagement between the alternative food movement and the food labor movement in the United States. Drawing on the notion of agrarian imaginary, I argue for the need to break down divides between producer and consumer, rural and urban, and individual and community based approaches to changing the food system. I contend that farmworker-led consumer-based campaigns and solidarity movements, such as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) current Campaign for Fair Food, and The United Farmworkers’ historical grape boycotts, successfully work to challenge this imaginary, drawing consumers into movement-based actions. Based on ethnographic fieldwork with farmworkers and farmworker advocates in California and Florida, this research illustrates the possibilities for alternative food movement advocates and coalitions to build upon farmworker-led campaigns and embrace workers as leaders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-101
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Geography(United Kingdom)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers
  • Mano de obra rural
  • United Farm Workers
  • United Farm Workers
  • consumer-based initiatives
  • farm labor
  • food justice
  • food movements
  • iniciativas basadas en el consumidor
  • justicia alimentaria
  • movimientos por la alimentación

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Philosophy


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