The Bay Area’s food system is an integral, but under recognized, part of the region’s economic prosperity and long-term resilience. SAGE delves into the implications of this and how to address it in our new report Bay Area Food Futures Roadmap: Investing in a Vital Food System as a Foundation of Regional Resilience
“Although the Bay Area’s food system is facing serious challenges and is interconnected with key regional issues, including land use, housing, transportation, equity, jobs and workforce, public health, water and energy supply, and climate change impacts, it is not yet significantly taken into account in regional sustainability and resilience planning and implementation.
The result is an under-counting of the economic and environmental contributions of our regional food system, inattention to its vulnerabilities, and under-investment in the agricultural resources and food supply sectors that are critical to regional resilience. As regional leaders implement the Economic Action Plan of the Bay Area’s newly designated Economic Development District, and plan for resilience in the face of disparate futures through processes such as Plan Bay Area 2050, it is essential that regional leadership and communities across the Bay Area carefully consider the future of our food, and take action to address the challenges and opportunities alike.
The Bay Area Food Futures Roadmap is a working document that presents a vision and actions to advance a sustainable, equitable, healthy local food system as an integral foundation of the Bay Area’s regional resilience and shared prosperity.”
The Bay Area Food Futures Roadmap has a three-fold purpose:
1. Make a case for integrating the agriculture and food industry cluster into regional planning frameworks.
2. Lay out a Food Futures Roadmap Action Plan identifying principles, goals, strategies and actions needed to foster a vital regional food system.
3. Describe regional-scale ‘Big Ideas’ that are in alignment with regional priorities, supported by engaged partners, and ready for action.
The audience for the Bay Area Food Futures Roadmap includes the Association of Regional Governments (ABAG), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC, co-staffed with ABAG as Bay Area Metro) and ABAG’s local government and business leadership partners. This audience can and must leverage its planning, policy and funding power to help address food and agriculture sector vulnerabilities and opportunities. The broader audience is food and agriculture business leaders and advocacy stakeholders who have a vested interest in increasing investments, partnerships and collaborative action toward creating a sustainable, equitable, and healthy local food system. In order to safeguard the food system that is the backbone of a healthy, resilient region, we must make the agriculture and food sector a high priority in regional planning processes and investment decisions.
This project was funded by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefits Program with additional support from the Robertson Family Fund and the Wallace Center. It builds on the Bay Area Food Economy white paper, funded by the California Coastal Conservancy Bay Area Program. The project was led by a SAGE research team and was supported by a Working Group of food system stakeholders.
To download the Bay Area Food Futures Roadmap report, click here.