Welcome to the digital home of our research project: The Antinomies of Non-Wage Labour in Ontario’s Food Movement and Agricultural Sector. Our research examines the role of non-waged labour (e.g. intern, apprentice and volunteer) on small- and medium-scale ecologically oriented farms.  This research has three central objectives:

  1. To examine the ways that some small-scale ecologically oriented farmers have come to rely on non-waged labour in their operations
  2. To explore farmers’ and workers’ current strategies and perspectives regarding the role of non-wage work in building a transformative food movement
  3. To identify the defining characteristics of workers’ experiences and explain the motivations of individuals willing to provide non-waged labour on farms

In examining these questions, this research seeks to understand the reasons behind the use of non-waged labour, the key dimensions of the intern experience and the pursuit of social justice within the growing food movement. We maintain that the sustainability of the small-scale ecologically oriented farm sector hinges on navigating this issue of non-wage labour.

-Charles Levkoe and Michael Ekers

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