Phase 1: Research & Development (2018-19)
The Hands that Feed Us started with an epiphany — that too many farmers don’t get paid enough to live on and have to rely on off-farm jobs to pay the bills. That’s crazy. How can the people growing our food not make enough to live on?
Simply identifying the problem isn’t enough to solve it! Turning that epiphany into a project meant learning enough about our food system to understand how and why we got to this point, and what policy levers could be pulled to change it. This is a task for a lifetime! But, two years of reading, learning, and thinking will have to suffice.
Phase 2: Documentary (2020)
COVID-19 was a turning point. Suddenly, people are genuinely worried about where their food will come from. The financial worries of farmers have become food security worries for the rest of us.
COVID-19 makes this the time for action. During the COVID-19 shutdown, director Devon Cooke is travelling across the country with a camera, capturing the realities of life on the farm, and putting those realities in the bigger context of Canada’s food system. The end goal: To collect the footage and raw materials for a documentary that shows the challenges of making a living as a farmer, and suggests some ways to fix them.
Phase 3: Campaign (2021)
A documentary alone achieves nothing — it’s a tool, not an end in itself. Its value is the conversations it creates and the ideas it provokes. So, the next step is to take the project on the road. Nothing happens unless people stand up to make it happen, and our project is nothing unless we stand and find others who will stand with us.
We will show the documentary in as many communities as we can across the country, and grow our campaign, person by person, until we meet our MPs and MLAs face-to-face and demand that they help us make the changes we need.