We launched Food Vision 2030 with the understanding that the time to reimagine and reconfigure our food system is now. There is no question that our current path is unsustainable and transformations must take root at the community level.

With San Diego County’s bountiful farmers markets, significant number of small organic farms and fisheries, vibrant restaurant and craft brewery scene, and rich network of agencies and organizations invested in food system issues, “crisis” might seem a far-fetched term to describe our current situation.

But our food system is in crisis. In spite of our unique agricultural and fishing resources, we are still largely dependent on corporate-controlled foodways. We are culturally conditioned to favor “cheap food” while denying the significant environmental and labor costs absorbed upstream. We perpetuate underlying structural inequities that keep land, power, and good health out of the hands of marginalized communities and communities of color over generations. We are riding a global wave of monoculture, climate change, farmer attrition, and food systems dominated by political and economic influences.

Change is necessary, and we believe change is possible. Healing our food system can heal the world. After all, it is food that underpins our culture, food that is universal to all human life, and food where our economy most deeply affects our ecology.



Food Vision 2030 is a response to the complex crises affecting our food system. The Alliance has launched an 18-month process to produce Food Vision 2030, a strategic plan that

  1. summarizes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats relating to how we grow, produce, process, distribute, consume, and manage disposal and recovery of food; and

  2. presents a list of measurable goals and strategies that San Diego County can fulfill over the next ten years, from 2021 to 2030, through our personal and industry choices, policy decisions, program interventions, and investments.

From 2010 to 2011, a group of San Diego County food system and community leaders began this important conversation, conducting the first San Diego Food System Assessment and convening for the San Diego Urban-Rural Roundtable. Their recommendations led to the creation of San Diego Food System Alliance, which is now a multi-sector network of over 120 organizations. Today, nearly a decade later, the Alliance is well-positioned to lead the development of a new vision to guide our region over the next ten years.



Over the next 18 months, we will engage with stakeholders at every point in the food system as well as the broader community to develop Food Vision 2030.

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Food Vision 2030 will be led by San Diego Food System Alliance staff and board, a Steering Committee, and our Leadership Council. The Alliance will work in partnership with many organizations, agencies, and individuals to create an inclusive process and plan.


+ Sona Desai, Associate Director, SDFSA

Sona has been working to advance sustainable and equitable food systems for more than 20 years. She has a background in organic farming, food marketing & distribution, farm business development, and is recognized nationally as a leader in food hub and community food systems development. Prior to joining SDFSA, Sona served as Director of Food Systems Development at the Leichtag Foundation and Associate Director of Coastal Roots Farm in Encinitas. She moved to California after working at the Intervale Center in Burlington, VT, for ten years, where she was also actively engaged in the Vermont Farm to Plate Network and Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA).

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+ Scott Sawyer, Consultant

Scott Sawyer grew up in Southern California before being charmed away to Vermont, where he was the lead author, editor, and designer of Vermont's Farm to Plate Initiative while working at Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. His work has included researching, analyzing, writing, editing, evaluating, and designing for a variety of food system, renewable energy, forest products, and sustainability programs and projects, including Vermont's Farm to Plate Initiative, the Community Energy Dashboard, and the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative. Scott has a PhD in sociology from Washington State University. He is happy to be back in sunny California and eager to help strengthen San Diego's food system.

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+ Elly Brown, Executive Director, SDFSA

As the Executive Director of SDFSA, Elly manages the network, operations, programs, development, and administrative matters of San Diego Food System Alliance. Elly began her role at the San Diego Food System Alliance as a Facilitator in 2015 and transitioned to lead the organization as a staffed Director in 2016. Under Elly’s tenure, the San Diego Food System Alliance has increased its organizational revenue by tenfold, expanded the network to over 120 groups, and launched 6 Working Groups. Elly enjoys the ability to contribute her business and consulting skill set to a cause she loves, food and community.

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+ Margaret Chiu, Communications & Events Associate, SDFSA

Margaret's curiosity and passion for food were passed down to her by her immigrant parents and grandparents. She has always cherished the way growing and sharing food connects human beings to their heritage and back to the Earth. In her role as Communications & Events Associate at SDFSA, Margaret strives to tell individuals' stories from across San Diego’s diverse food system, from seed to table to compost heap and back again. Margaret views her job as a responsibility to illuminate the intersection of food issues with systemic social issues. Prior to joining SDFSA, Margaret worked in marketing and business development for diverse sectors spanning life science, commercial real estate, international development and recreation.



Stay tuned for the announcement of Food Vision 2030 Steering Committee members.



We are thrilled that San Diego County Food Vision 2030 has launched! We invite you to participate. Stay up-to-date with Food Vision 2030 activities by subscribing below and following us on social media.