About Our Food Program

We envision the food system of the future as a network of many local food systems in many different communities that will comprise of small-scale, ecologically sound, socially just enterprises and organizations. The right to define how these local food systems are organized will belong, democratically, to the people throughout the food chain who participate in them from farmers to eaters.

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. And the large, centralized food producers that dominate food systems today are usually owned and governed by white men and driven by financial bottom lines to the detriment of more important ends: equitable control over the survival and sustainability of our food system and the provision of healthy food and sustainable livelihoods to people working within the food system and beyond.

Systemic oppression within our food system has most negatively impacted rural communities, communities of color, and low-income communities, so our focus is on supporting these historically and currently marginalized communities to take back control over the economic engines of our food system. The cornerstone of our work is the belief that enterprises should be owned and/or controlled by the workers and communities who depend on them, and this is true for the food economy as much as any other sector.

Sustainable Economies Law Center’s Food Program provides education, research, advice and advocacy to advance food systems built around this vision. For information specifically about our Farmland Program, click here.

Food Policy Advocacy

New: Proposal for Expanding Sales of Homemade Food in California

Save Seed Sharing! Campaign (national)

California Local Economies Securities Act

California Seed Exchange Democracy Act

California Neighborhood Food Act

California Homemade Food Act

Resources for Food Enterprises

We provide free legal guides on various topics for small and medium scale food and farm enterprises. Click here!

Food News

For all the latest updates about our Food Program, read our Food News blog. Click here!

Showing 2 reactions

  • commented 2015-03-13 21:08:31 -0700 · Flag
    I would like to know if the legislation for the The Neighborhood Food Act and The California Homemade Food Act are still available to look at elsewhere. The links are down. Thank!
  • commented 2014-06-20 08:45:02 -0700 · Flag
    Which cities have adopted policies that prioritize using city owned lots for local food growing? I’d like to learn more about these policies.

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