Help Transform California Food Policy

Help Transform California Food Policy

December 3, 2012 Michael R. Dimock

The election frenzy is over and the stage is set for accelerating the changes we need for California’s food and farming future. Both the Assembly and Senate have powerful progressive majorities to set future focused food policy agendas. In addition, both arms of the Legislature have formed “Select Committees” dedicated to local, organic and sustainable food. Finally, Governor Brown and Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross, are supportive of new thinking and approaches in food systems that serve all Californians. So for the first time conditions are truly ripe to forge a progressive food and farming agenda that addresses a number of vital issues in California. Roots of Change (ROC) needs your help to maximize the potential of this moment. This is why we’re asking you to make a holiday donation.

Food and agriculture is at the core of our State’s health and well-being, yet we don’t have the correct policies in place. Many existing policies present regulatory challenges for producers and food businesses. Too few policies are incentive based or designed to unleash entrepreneurship and innovation. For example, there are no incentives for farmers and ranchers to invest in trying new practices that combat climate change. Inadequate policies address the need to improve school food and to make healthy food more accessible in low- income communities. And as revealed by the loss of Proposition 37, which would have required the labeling of genetically modified food, the food movement needs to be more organized and collaborative in order to overcome the huge financial advantage of industrial food corporations. A new array of smarter food policies must be set in place to create real benefits for us all, particularly for farms, ranches, food businesses and low-income communities.

The newly formed California Food Policy Council (CAFPC), the focus of ROC’s work for the next several years, is an exciting new institution that will fight for policies that represent the needs of all Californians and models for the nation a better approach to food and farming. The CAFPC is our best hope for democratizing the food system. Its members represent 26 regions of the State that account for 71% of eligible voters. Imagine what we can achieve with a statewide strategy and a unified movement that pushes for a progressive, ecologically-based and socially just food agenda. The CAFPC will end the total dominance by the industrial food mindset that has long set the rules that guide evolution of food and farming.

In order for the CAFPC to reach its full potential we need your help. ROC is launching an online campaign that will match every dollar you contribute up to $30,000. Every dollar raised will be applied to support the work of the CAFPC committees. Your donation no matter its size will drive change toward the following priorities for California:

  • Healthy food access and food related job creation for low income communities
  • Healthy school food for our kids
  • Regional food processing and distribution infrastructure that serves local communities, schools and institutions seeking to improve food quality
  • Justice, opportunity and respect for our farm and food workers
  • Incentives for mass adoption of ecological practices, including soil building, climate, water quality and species protection, by farmers and ranchers
  • Smarter rules and regulations to enhance the economic viability of small farms and ranches.

The food movement is rising and the time is NOW to keep the momentum going! Your contribution to ROC ensures a powerful California Food Policy Council, the State’s first and the nation’s best attempt to remake the food system. Please DONATE today.

THANK YOU for your interest in our work, your past and future support.

May your holidays be warm and enriching!

Michael R. Dimock
Roots of Change