All members must sign and submit our basic Membership Agreement. To access the Agreement, please click the following link. If you are unable to view, download or print the Agreement, please contact us for a hard copy.
Why is this necessary?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that annually, 48-76 million people in the United States are afflicted with some sort of food borne illness and according to the CDC’s own data, not a single one of these illnesses or deaths is caused by small, local, alternative agriculturalist, diversified, family farms. All of the millions of illnesses are caused by the industrial food system. And yet, the food police (FDA, USDA, CDC, FBI and state counterparts of each) are cracking down on small, local, family farms and consumers.
There are a number of good websites and blogs about what is happening all around the U.S. regarding small farms and the food police. One of the best is ‘The Complete Patient’ by David Gumpert http://www.thecompletepatient.com/. Scroll through the history and see heavily armed SWAT teams raiding alternative food stores, state police helping state officials close down licensed farmers and so much more. You can also perform a Google search for “Health inspector shuts down 7-year-old's summer lemonade stand” to see more. You can also check out the following website http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/fda-you-have-no-natural-right-to-food-health-or-private-contracts/ to find a link to a legal document filed in Iowa by the FDA. According to the FDA:a. There is No Right to Consume or Feed Children Any Particular Food
b. There is No Generalized Right to Bodily and Physical Health.
And consumers are not immune to government raids. In the summer of 2010 the home of one family was raided because the family allowed a farmer to park his truck in the driveway so people in the neighborhood could have easy access to healthy, local food. During the raid the family’s computer and several documents were taken, not to mention the disruption to family life this caused.
In the face of this kind of pressure from the federal and state governments, pressure involving home raids, SWAT teams, illegal warrants, misleading consumers, massive legal battles and more, local farmers and their local customers are finding innovative ways to share local, real, healthy, food. The Parker Produce Membership Agreement is one of the models that have worked recently. The FDA, USDA, et al, do not have the authority to regulate private contracts between private citizens. This contract allows for private agreement between you, the educated consumer, and Parker Produce, a small, diversified, beyond organic, family farm that provides real food to the community.
The contract also helps to protect Parker Produce from government agents posing as customers to entrap the farmer in a COINTELPRO type operation. Don’t laugh, this happens all the time. In Pennsylvania it happened to an Amish farmer who represented himself and got the case thrown out because the agents misrepresented themselves on their agreement form.
This contract also allows Parker Produce to maintain one of our main tenants of ethical food production. We believe that people should be able to visit the farms where their food is grown, ask questions, tour the facilities, dig in the soil and pet the animals. Because some farmers are afraid that visitors are federal agents in disguise, many have decided to close off their farms to the public. At Parker Produce we feel this is a dangerous path for the local food movement to take. Transparency is what people are looking for when they search for alternatives to the industrial system…which is inherently non-transparent.
At Parker Produce we certainly wish there was no need to have a contract with people who simply want to consume local, healthy, safe, real, beyond organic food from a family farm. We work to operate within the constraints of our legal system. If you have additional questions regarding this or anything else that we do at Parker Produce, please do not hesitate to contact us.