I have carried out an exploratory study about the labour conditions on organic farms in the developing world. Using qualitative methods, I conducted three months of research in an organic farming community in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I observed disharmony between the ambitions of educated workers from middle-class backgrounds and the ‘local’ workers. Those workers who were of middle-class descent had political and spiritual goals that failed to resonate with local workers. Middle-class workers were able to embrace their frugal living conditions, using it as a means to enhance their ‘moral identity’ by having sacrificed the privileges they had access to throughout their lives. Local workers, who were relatively disadvantaged in their economic opportunities, were not able to benefit from their work in the same way as workers of middle-class descent, resulting in local workers being discontent and terminating their employment at an unusually high rate.
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