Our Canadian food system is in trouble. The people who grow our food — our farmers — are struggling to make a living. Almost half have second jobs and many more rely on income from their spouses to get by. In 2014, the average farmer made about $16,000 from their farm after they had paid for all their expenses — and that was the highest in over a decade.

That’s not enough to live on.

We have high standards for our food. We want it to be local and organic, hormone-free and sustainably grown. We also want it to be cheap.

And therein lies the problem. If a farmer wants to make a living, the best way to do that is to grow the cheapest food, not the best. If we want our farmers to live up to our ideals for food, we need our farmers to make a living when they grow the best food, not just the cheapest.

The Hands that Feed Us is a project to build that system. Our mission is to look at the food system we have, find out why our farmers are doing so poorly in it, and change it so that our farmers can afford to grow the food we want.