Part of the Food Policy Councils in Action spotlight series
Year it started: 2011
Mission: The mission of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council is to “ensure food is healthy, affordable, fair and sustainable for all.”
Members/Structure: The Los Angeles Food Policy Council comprises a network of more than 400 organizations and agencies (including government, businesses, non-profit, and community groups) working to provide healthy, sustainable and fair food.
What they do: The Los Angeles Food Policy Council leverages the collective impact of a network of stakeholders from across the food system through cross-sector working groups, network events, and other civic engagement activities. In 2017, the Council collaborated with more than 300 stakeholders to update the Good Food for All Agenda, a collective policy platform to guide decision-makers, funders, and food system leaders to ensure that food is healthy, sustainable, affordable, accessible, and fair for all involved. It is involved in many issues including hunger, health, agriculture and the environment, school food, senior meals, urban farming, worker rights, animal welfare, culinary arts, and composting.
How they do it: The Los Angeles Food Policy Council facilitates the ability of several working groups to support food-system initiatives and policies:
- The Good Food Economy Working Group aims to support solutions related to jobs and workforce development, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure for food industry innovation with a focus on equitable outcomes for low-income communities and communities of color. The group developed, incubated, and is supporting the implementation of the The Good Food Zone (GFZ) (Described in the section below).
- The Good Food Purchasing Policy (GFPP) Working Group supports the expansion of the GFPP framework across Los Angeles County, focusing on public food programs that serve low-income residents. Its metric-based framework encourages large institutions to direct their buying power toward achieving a more transparent, equitable, and sustainable food system. (See interesting facts about how they’re doing this below).
- The Farm to School and Gardens Working Group aims to support local agriculture and encourage students to make healthier food choices. They focus on promoting food purchases that connect farms and schools while using gardens to teach students about the food system.
- The Food Loss & Waste Reduction Working Group develops policies and strategies that reduce consumer-side food-loss and waste as well as reduce the volume of surplus food generated. This group was instrumental in developing LA’s first food recovery program, which coordinates food-scrap drop-offs at farmers markets.
- The Regenerative & Urban Agriculture Working Group focuses on policy related to land use, land access, urban agriculture, community food hubs, and climate resiliency. This group successfully developed the first zoning incentive program to support urban agriculture in the City of Los Angeles.
Recent project/campaign: The Good Food Zone (GFZ) was developed by the Good Food Economy Working Group to address the issue of historic divestment in communities within Los Angeles. Passed by the Los Angeles City Council on March 3rd, 2020, it aims to create economic incentives and support–including business training, management and leadership development, product development, and technology adoption–to small businesses that contribute to the health, food access, and economic needs of under-resourced communities.The program will provide support and incentives to qualifying small food businesses across the supply chain. Since the bill was passed, the group has developed an implementation proposal and has connected with potential businesses and City Council offices in South LA and Arleta-Pacoima.
Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: The Good Food Purchasing Policy (GFPP) is a procurement framework whose goal is to transform the way public institutions purchase food by directing their buying power toward five core values: local economies, health, a valued workforce, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. The GFPP was originally created by the Los Angeles Food Policy Council and adopted by the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2012, and is now a national initiative led by The Center for Good Food Purchasing. Through this program, the Los Angeles Unified School District now sources 70 percent of its produce locally and invests more than $30 million, representing 12 percent of its total food budget, in high-road employers who commit to workforce values. Nationally, the GFPP influences almost $1 billion in annual food purchases.
Number of staff: 9 staff members
Areas served: Los Angeles, California
Executive Director: Christine Tran
- The Healthy Neighborhood Market Network is focused on increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables in under-resourced communities in Los Angeles by expanding their availability in neighborhood corner stores. This program provides store owners with technical assistance and training to purchase, store and market fresh produce.
- The Food Leaders Lab is a 10-week leadership-development program available to Los Angeles residents that provides education about food justice, systems change, and community health. Topics covered include:
- Systemic oppression and structural racism
- Regenerative and urban agriculture
- Environmental justice and the built environment
- Labor across the food chain
- Food justice and food sovereignty
- Health inequities, food access, and food insecurity
- Each year the Los Angeles Food Policy Council collaborates with the City Council to select and celebrate Good Food Champions who are making a difference in the local food system.
- Orgain Kicks Off Partnership With Los Angeles Food Policy Council (Orgain, January 28th, 2022)
- National and Sub-national Food Systems Multi-Stakeholder Mechanisms- Los Angeles Food Policy Council (United Nations’ One Planet Network, October 21st, 2021)
- Los Angeles Food Policy Council Launches Multiple Initiatives to Support Good Food Policy in the Region (LA County, October 7th, 2021)
- Framing Food Justice: LA Food Policy Council (Food Forward, May 28th, 2021)
- Behind the Scene of LA’s Good Food Zone Policy (Duke Sanford Podcast, January 14th, 2021)
- The Los Angeles Food Policy Council: A Model For The Nation (Roots of Change, January 25th, 2019)
- Re-connecting With Our Food: The Power of Good Food Policymaking (KCET, February 13th, 2019)
- More Than a Million Angelenos Are Food Insecure. Here’s What’s Being Done to Change That (LA Magazine, January 8th, 2019)
- Bringing Farming Back To Nature (New York Times, January 20th, 2019)
- Feds Won’t Make Good Food Happen. So Cities, Armed With Food Policy Councils Will Do It Themselves (The Counter, December 12th, 2017)
Photo Credit: LAFPC Healthy Neighborhood Market Network Program