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 we live in a world where farmers can’t afford to feed the rest of us?
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 (2020-21)
COVID-19 was a turning point. Suddenly, people were genuinely worried about where their food would come from. The financial worries of farmers have become food security worries for the rest of us.
During the COVID-19 shutdown, director Devon Cooke travelled 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.
Out of those raw materials, a documentary is emerging that poses the question: Can our farmers afford to feed us?
Phase 3: Campaign (2022)
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.
When the documentary is complete, we will show it 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.