During a virtual panel on data protection organized by Food Tank and the Refresh Working Group, labor activists and food chain experts explored the ways that technology is supporting and impeding food justice efforts.

Moderated by Food Tank President Danielle Nierenberg, and journalist Chloe Sorvino of Forbes, the event is part of a weeklong series about the intersection of food and technology. Panelists include: Kevin Krueger, Global Vending Solutions Manager for Facebook; Jose Oliva, Campaigns Director for HEAL Food Alliance; Chris Ramsaroop, founding member of Justice for Migrant Workers; and Nezahualcoyotl Xiuhtecutli, General Coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida.

Many workers in the food system, Oliva says, would welcome technology that replaces some of the most arduous aspects of their jobs.

But he notes that “Unless the technology is actually looking at [the issue] from a human perspective and not from a capitalist perspective…I think we’re eventually going to go down a path of having a huge number of people who are unemployed.”

If nothing changes, Oliva adds, those who are displaced will not be able to fill the new jobs that automation creates.

Krueger builds off of this, saying “I’m not convinced that, left to their own devices, market forces will…make sure we’re creating better jobs alongside this technology.”

Read the full article about technology supports the food system by Elena Seeley at Food Tank.