Community Food Security Coalition Recommendations for Food Systems Policy in Seattle
2011 | Download
A food system is the set of economic activities that encompasses production, transformation (processing, packaging, labeling), distribution (wholesaling, storage, transportation), access (gardens, retail, institutional food service, emergency food programs), consumption, and waste management related to food. Given its scope, a region’s food system is a prime driver of the health of a region’s economy, land use, environment, communities, and residents. It touches upon every household, every community, and virtually every city agency.
Food is as vital a public need as water, power, transportation, or housing, yet has been largely invisible from municipal policy considerations as such. Instead it has been embedded within the policy and programmatic initiatives of numerous city departments. Making food systems more visible, the city and its partners seek to enhance the ability to make informed policy choices that shape the economic, social, cultural, and environmental fabric of the city and the surrounding region. Similarly, food is at the crossroads between economics, culture, community and health. By addressing food system policy, the city can address many of the existing problems that it is concerned with, and help it to meet its goals. These can include job creation, community building, hunger elimination, and improvement of the local and global environment.
This report was presented to the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods by the Community Food Security Coalition. These recommendations for next steps on food systems policy take into account national examples and reflect local knowledge of efforts already underway.