Photo credit: Healthy Works, County of San Diego
Our Mission: The San Diego Food System Alliance is dedicated to developing and maintaining an equitable, healthy and sustainable food system for the benefit of all people in San Diego County.
As a multi-sector collaborative, the San Diego Food System Alliance (the Alliance) is creating system level changes by connecting, coordinating and catalyzing actions that move us towards our shared vision of Good Food for San Diego County. Our network consists of more than 120 groups with 40 Voting Members representing a diverse cross section of the food system including: distribution, health, food security, philanthropy, production, education and government.
We create a space for conversation and collaboration by facilitating 6 Working Groups around the following areas: Healthy Food Access, Reducing Barriers to Farming, Food Recovery, Urban Agriculture, Sustainable and Local Seafood and Good Food Procurement. Through regular convenings we are able to highlight intersections among our members to increase efforts around good food and catalyze solutions for system level changes through advocacy, educational campaigns, community events and special initiatives.
Why the Alliance Exists
"Starting more than 30 years ago, some academic experts and food activists began to see that the food system was touching more and more parts of our lives. Environmental issues, public health, issues of social and economic justice, and other concerns were all tied up with this mammoth system, one with huge economic importance. The production of agricultural goods added $331 billion to the U.S. economy in 2009, and hundreds of billions more came from processing, distributing and marketing those products.
The other side of the economic coin is the cost to treat the health issues that arise when people don’t eat well. In 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that by 2030 obesity rates in the United States are expected to jump to 42 percent, from today’s 34 percent. With the rise in obesity comes a staggering price to treat obesity-related illnesses: an estimated $550 billion each year.
Food experts and activists realized that a vast food system generated many policies, and for the most part, the average citizen didn’t have much of a role in shaping them. One way to address this lack of participation was by creating food policy councils or alliances, to bring together all stakeholders in a community food system and give them a say in constructing a system that reflected their values."
Source: Mark Winne, Doing Food Policy Councils Right: A Guide to Development and Action
We believe in cultivating an in ideal food system which considers the 4Es:
Environment, Economics, Equity and Education.
conservation of natural resources and arable land for food production
management of food scraps
adoption of agricultural best practices to minimize pollution
protection of waters, tidelands, and wildlife resources
fair wage practices in the industry
direct links between consumers and local producers
nurturing environment for new food entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs
sustainable economic models for ag, fishing, and food production
rights of all people to grow and produce their own food
access to healthy and locally produced food for all residents
resolution to disparities for ensuring food sovereignty, food security and food justice
celebration of our diverse food heritage
knowledge around the origins of food: where and how it is produced, harvested and processed
environmental stewardship as foundation for learning about the food system
agricultural and fish production best practices that are economically profitable, environmentally sound and socially equitable