Hilary Hoynes at SNAP Workshop. Photo by Jonathan Fong


What is Food Policy?

Many people aren’t familiar with this term, or that it exists as a field of both study and professional endeavor.

In our view, good food policy has the potential to increase access to good food and create a level playing field for farmers, food producers, workers, and eaters. It can build both a “bottom floor” to ensure that our food system doesn’t fall backwards in time, creating harmful conditions across the food chain. It can also build a “high ceiling,” meaning an aspirational environment where environmental protection and high quality food can coexist with profit and people. With increasing excitement and interest by consumers about our food system, we recognize that changes can only be institutionalized through policy that protects those with the least social and economic power.

In BFI’s Policy Program, we have four goals:

  • To facilitate access by policymakers and the general public to top-notch Berkeley research in food systems
  • To facilitate access by Berkeley students and faculty to up-to-date policy developments
  • To ensure that student and faculty research at Berkeley is relevant, participatory, and addresses urgent questions
  • To build the pipeline of food and agriculture policy professionals from UC Berkeley and the UC system as a whole