We want to live in a world where the food we eat is produced locally and/or by small-scale, sustainable, community-owned enterprises. We also want to see many more opportunities for people to create rewarding livelihoods working in the production of food.
SELC’s Food Program provides education, research, and advocacy to create food systems built around small-scale, community-based, sustainable enterprises.
Our food system is not well served by today’s predominant food business models, which incentivize growth, shareholder profit maximization, absentee ownership, and exploitation of resources. The ownership and governance structures of an enterprise largely determine the motivations that drive it. Large, centralized food producers are usually driven by financial bottom lines, to the detriment of more important ends: the survival and sustainability of our food system and the provision of sustainable livelihoods to people working in the food system. The cornerstone of SELC’s work on sustainable food production is the belief that food enterprises should be owned and/or controlled by the local communities that depend on them.
Workshops, manuals, videos, and other resources: SELC partners with the Green Collar Communities Clinic (at the East Bay Community Law Center) and Students for Economic and Environmental Justice to put on workshops about legal topics related to start-up food justice enterprises. Information about upcoming workshops can be found on our events page. See the Resources for Food Enterprises page for more.
Online Legal Resource Libraries: SELC curates several free online legal resource libraries that provides legal information, best practices, and supporting tools for food and farm enterprises, including UrbanAgLaw.org and CommunityEnterpriseLaw.org.
Legal Advice: SELC offers donation-based legal advice sessions for small-scale food enterprises and other community-based enterprises through our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe.
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