The California Food Policy Council is the result of unprecedented collaboration between local food policy bodies from around the state, statewide food systems reform organizations and government officials.

In June of 2011, Roots of Change convened representatives from Food Policy Councils, Food Systems Alliances, and other locally based food system’s collaboratives to begin a conversation with Secretary Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and Secretary Diana Dooley of California Health and Human Services Agency about the future of food policy in California.  At that meeting, it became very clear that these councils would be more effective if there were a statewide body that could facilitate communication and to coordinate collective action among the groups.

The organizing efforts truly kicked off in October 2011 in Oakland at the Community Food Security Coalition Conference where local co-hosts California Food and Justice Coalition, Roots of Change, and Ag Innovations led two strategy sessions that laid the framework for how the Council would move forward together.

The California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) is a council of local food policy bodies -- you might call it a “council of councils.”

The purpose of the California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) is to build the capacity of local food policy bodies to find common ground on policy priorities, generate public support for those policies, educate policymakers on issues in our food system, and advocate for food systems change in California. Consequently, the CAFPC will:

a.      Accelerate change at the neighborhood, city, and county level through sharing of information, resources, and best practices;

b.     Support development of local/regional food systems through regional collaboration to establish complimentary policies, vital processing, distribution and other infrastructure;

c.      Advise the State on future-focused law. The focus of advice will be to eliminate state-imposed policy impediments to progress and creation of new incentives for innovation and improvement in food and farming.

ROC celebrates this bottom up formation of California’s first statewide food policy council. After investing over $2.3 million dollars in convening up and down the state between 2007 and 2011 to build coalitions and foster systems thinking in many of the communities represented on the CAFPC, a better result could not be imagined. We think the CAFPC will have significant positive impact. We look forward to supporting the work of the CAFPC at the pleasure of its members and ROC’s funders.

If you sit on a local food policy body that would like to be included in the CAFPC, or are just looking for more information, please email tiffany(@)rootsofchange.org. ROC is staffing this effort with support from many of the councils and alliances within this group.