For the past few years, Modern Farmer has joined the fray and offered a 20 percent Black Friday discount on our store merchandise. We’re not going to have a Black Friday sale this year. Not because we don’t love you, our faithful readers. And not because we don’t love hats and shirts and mugs with our logo on them (we do). The problem is, we would be just one more organization asking you to buy one more product that you might not even need.
We have long donated a portion of our store profits to support farmers and farmworkers. But right now, in British Columbia, Canada, farmers are counting the numbers of dead livestock from historic flooding. They’re counting the lost equipment, barns, houses, soil. It’s the second time this year they’ve faced an almost unimaginable weather disaster.
Historic flooding in British Columbia. Photo courtesy of B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
In the US, Northeastern organic dairy producers are getting squeezed out of business after Horizon Dairy cancelled 89 contracts. This summer, farmers in the West struggled through a difficult drought, forcing them to cull their herds, strip trees of fruit and forgo planting crops. Next year, Arizona will lose 20 percent of its Colorado River water, a shortage that will surely affect agriculture first. The impacts of climate change-related weather on our food system will only continue grow.
Buying more T-shirts is not going help. The inexpensive products we so easily order online—our constant consumption—might be part of the problem.
We know that by not having a sale this year, we will sell fewer products, and raise less money to donate to farmers. But we hope that some of you will decide to make a donation yourselves. Rather than spend $20 with us, why not donate $10, or even $5 to a charity that is helping farmers, or providing food to people in disaster areas—or to our own Million Gardens Movement, which teaches kids about gardening, food security and climate?
We’re not going to close our shop—if you want to buy a nice shirt that supports a good cause, we still appreciate that—but instead of offering a 20 percent discount, we’re going to increase our charitable donations by the same amount.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.