Growers need stable pricing that, through sales, generate surpluses to live and reinvest. While the larger economic model of our society impoverishes huge percentages of our population, our predecessors preaching parity were drowned out by the false message that food should be cheap, and that if you were against food then you were against poor people.
Bluntly stated, that is the wrong starting point.
The starting point is poverty and inequality. Period. We begin to address this through political action on all fronts -- healthcare, housing, child care, social safety nets, and education, among many others -- not through the cheapening of food. The nexus of food and society is also the junction at which we humans metabolize our natural environment. It is easily apparent what our current metabolic relationship (mining, essentially) has brought us. And this with the painful knowledge that plantation agriculture and indigenous genocide and land grabbing underlay the history of the US system -- the most grotesque "mining" of people and families. An ugly, hellish history no matter what way one might cut it.
As agriculturalists today, we would like to first not contribute to poverty within our own sector. We envision projects for restorative justice taking root, where agricultural equity is no longer passed and inherited through a select subset of (white) hands. And where rural life and who land belongs to can better reflect who works it.
The question remains: how will agriculture quit perpetuating these injustices and its cheap labor addiction if, on the output end, we simultaneously insist that food be cheap?
While we of course, absolutely, sympathize with the struggle to afford groceries, the effects of landing this issue onto agricultural prices is incredible destructive. It is, in most ways, a counterproductive and short-sighted strategy, and rather than representing a solution to poverty, the cheapness of the food then actually contributes to ill health and massive "sick care" costs.
Clearly this system is broken.
What is a more appropriate starting point, then....................