Claire Kremen at BFI Inaugural Symposium. Photo by Kara Brodgesell.

Our Story

Our Mission

The Berkeley Food Institute strives to transform food systems to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. We empower new leaders with capacities to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems.

Current global food systems have achieved remarkable historical growth and expansion, yet increasingly fail on many fronts. We witness erosion of ecosystem and cultural diversity, decreased resilience in the face of emerging climate change, wasteful food and natural resources usage, persistent pollution, and myriad social injustices—including exploitation of food systems workers. We also watch millions of people go hungry while many others suffer from obesity.

The Berkeley Food Institute addresses many of the impediments to systemic change in food systems by creating productive connections between members of the scholarly community, farmers and other producers, non-governmental organizations, governments, and civil society. Facilitating such connections brings about social movements and civic initiatives that protest and resist the predominance of the industrialized food system, catalyzing alternative, localized, regional, or global “agri-food networks” that can improve food sovereignty, environmental conditions, and human health and justice. These movements and initiatives represent exciting potential for progressive change. BFI builds links and overcomes gaps or silos that have commonly impeded progress in this field.