Living Wage Campaign
At Slip Away, we strive to maintain an environmentally, financially and personally sustainable business. As a small farm, this is a lofty goal.
Large-scale, industrial agriculture, which often resorts to the use of chemicals to ensure strong crops, is frequently bolstered by government subsidies. This keeps the expense of food for the consumer unrealistically low and floods our markets with mass-produced, low-cost products made primarily from corn, soy and wheat.
In the flower world, small-scale farmers compete with overseas mega-growers who use chemicals (many of which are illegal in the United States) and preservatives to ship in low-cost blooms year round.
These subsidies and industrial agricultural practices set an unrealistic standard for vegetable and flower prices in the United States. The small growers, especially those of us growing without the use of synthetic chemicals, struggle to adhere to these unrealistic standards. Our prices are set far too low, making it nearly impossible to maintain a financially independent business.
So how do small-growers stay afloat? We underpay ourselves, under-staff our farms, and we are given permission to vastly underpay our workers. In Massachusetts, minimum wage is currently set at $12.75 an hour, but the agricultural minimum wage in the state is only $8 per hour. This, for work that is so physically demanding and simultaneously so important.
At Slip Away, we believe in paying farm workers fairly, and we need your help to do it. Our goal is to get every employee to a minimum of $14.44 an hour (the estimated living wage in Dukes County for one individual without dependents). We hope to pay returning workers more and those in management positions a minimum of $20 per hour.
Our current budget falls short of this goal.
Please consider donating any amount you can in support of fair pay for farm workers.