Bay Area Agriculture and Food Systems

SAGE is helping make our Bay Area agriculture and food sector (BAAFS) a more integral part of regional planning and secure a place ‘at the table’ as the region becomes a designated Economic Development District. Our collaborative white paper to be released next spring will show the triple bottom line contributions of our regional food system, increase awareness about its vulnerabilities, and identify critical investment needs. Project collaborators include the Association of Bay Area Governments, Greenbelt Alliance, American Farmland Trust, SPUR and other stakeholders.

Bay Area Agriculture and Food Sector

White Paper for inclusion in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) a project of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG)

November 22, 2016 DRAFT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The white paper will be a comprehensive analysis of the economic contributions, both direct and indirect, of the Bay Area agriculture and food sector to regional prosperity and resilience. The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is a strong proponent of the proposed white paper which will be referenced in, and an appendix to, the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), that ABAG is preparing. The CEDS is a requirement for the region to become an Economic Development District (EDD), a U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) designation that will make the Bay Area more competitive for federal economic and workforce development funding for the region’s diverse communities and workforce. The CEDS report and regional EDD will serve as a platform to coordinate and elevate multiple sub-regional economic and workforce initiatives and provide additional resources to the region.

Without representation and analysis, the food and agricultural sectors stand to be under-recognized among other leading growth industries in the Bay Area should funding and technical assistance become available from the EDA to our region.

The white paper will analyze multiple aspects of agriculture and food industries in all Bay Area counties, including: employment and wages by industry sector; direct, indirect and induced economic contributions; and locations and concentrations of major ag and food businesses and their relationship with industrial land pressures, transportation pressures, jobs/housing pressures, and PCA and PDA designations. The paper will also analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the region’s food supply chains sectors, based on existing studies and selected interviews. Finally, the paper will identify the critical investments needed in food sectors and infrastructure of regional significance, the best entities and collaborations to carry out implementation, and the most promising funding sources.

The impact of the white paper will be a more full accounting of the triple bottom line contributions of our regional food system, increased awareness about its vulnerabilities, and increased potential for significant and strategic investment in the agricultural resources and food supply sectors that are a pillar of our regional resilience.