San Francisco Urban-Rural Roundtable Recommends Conservation of Farmland to Sustain Local Food
A blue ribbon committee of city and agricultural leaders convened by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has outlined five important steps the mayor should take to encourage greater production and consumption of sustainably grown local food. The five initiatives were selected from dozens proposed and debated during a year-long process that was organized by Roots of Change, American Farmland Trust and other local leaders. AFT helped launch this effort with its San Francisco foodshed study, Think Globally, Eat Locally, published last year.
The San Francisco Urban-Rural Roundtable recommended five specific initiatives:
- Institutionalize the City’s food system policy and planning
- Reinvest in San Francisco’s school meals program
- Form an alliance to promote state and federal policies to support the Bay Area’s regional food system
- Support a Bay Area agricultural resources sustainability strategy
- Organize a trade mission to San Francisco for California growers
Among the participants in the Roundtable were A.G. Kawamura, secretary of the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA), and AFT Trustee Richard E. Rominger, a Yolo County farmer former head of CDFA.
Mayor Newsom received the report at the final meeting of the Roundtable held at the Ferry Terminal in San Francisco on March 30. At the gathering, Michael Dimock, president of Roots of Change, told the Mayor, “Although many big cities share your interest in healthy, affordable, and sustainable food production, no Mayor has ventured as far into the countryside to engage the producers of food and to hear their perspectives on how city and country can best work together for mutual benefit.”
AFT has already committed itself to pursue the Bay Area agricultural resources sustainability strategy. In partnership with the Greenbelt Alliance, Sustainable Agriculture Education and other local institutions, we intend to inventory remaining agricultural lands in the region and design a plan to conserve it and create opportunities for those who farm it to take better advantage of the demand for locally-produced food. The San Francisco Foundation has already contributed to this project, which will begin as soon as we have obtained the additional funding necessary to carry it to completion.
Read the Urban Rural Roundtable's Recommendations [PDF]
Read AFT's San Francisco Foodshed Study
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