San Diego Food System Alliance Monday released “San Diego County Food Vision 2030,” highlighting where the food system is failing communities and workers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the regional economy and food supply chains.
The report also proposes 10 goals intended to help heal the food system over the next decade by “cultivating justice, addressing climate change and building resilience,” according to a statement released by the Alliance, a coalition local organizations, businesses and health systems. , nonprofits and government agencies “dedicated to building a healthy, sustainable and just food system in San Diego County”.
“The past year has proven that we have a food system that fails to meet the needs of the vast majority of our communities,” said Elly Brown, executive director of the San Diego Food System Alliance.
“It’s not broken, but works exactly as it was designed, concentrating wealth and power in the hands of a few,” she said. “Our goal should not be to ‘fix’ the system, but rather to transform it completely by addressing the systemic injustices on which it was built – including the exploitation of blacks, aboriginals and people of color. We need to rebalance power, so that our communities have a say in how their food is grown, produced, sold and shared.
Even before the pandemic, one in seven people in the San Diego area was food insecure, unable to afford or access regular nutritious meals, according to the report. As of Monday, one in three San Diego is food insecure, according to the Alliance.
Over 217,000 people in San Diego County, 80% Hispanic / Latino, work on the frontlines every day to produce, prepare, deliver and serve food. The work they do is essential, but they earn the lowest annual wages in any area of San Diego County: $ 28,000 a year, on average, according to the report.
To remedy these inequalities, the report sets three objectives:
– cultivate justice by improving the health, wealth, leadership and power of BIPOC communities in San Diego County;
– fight climate change by mitigating its impacts and ensuring that food producers and the food system can withstand more frequent extreme weather events; and
– build resilience by strengthening our link with food, creating a stronger public safety net and investing in the local food economy.
To achieve these goals, SDFSA has set 10 goals – for example, increasing the viability of local farms, fisheries and food businesses, increasing wages and working conditions, and preserving San Diego County farmlands and soils. – which require close cooperation between community organizers, non-profit organizations. , governments, businesses and philanthropic organizations.
“We are delighted to unveil a roadmap to fix our extractive, inefficient and unsustainable food system,” said Brown. “This means pushing back consolidation in the food industry and investing in our local farmers and fishermen, our farm and food workers, and independent retailers and restaurants.
“We need to build community power so that residents can acquire land to grow food and manage our land and marine resources in the face of climate change,” she said. “The people who work in the field every day to produce, prepare and move food in our region must have the primary voice in a food system that truly feeds us all. “
A virtual launch event for Food Vision 2030, featuring a conversation with SDFSA executives, Food Vision 2030 contributors and local leaders, will take place Thursday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. The community is invited to join by registering on sdfoodvision2030.org.
The Alliance was launched in October 2012 in response to a food system assessment conducted by the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute and recommendations from the Urban-Rural Roundtable.
–City news service