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

Policy Briefs

From the 2018 Farm Bill to food safety and urban agriculture, research on various food-related issues from our affiliated faculty and staff has resulted in policy briefs that assess the issues and inform next steps for policy options and recommendations.

Policy Research

In service of the good food movement, we conduct original research on policy barriers and possibilities in the United States and abroad.

Comments and Letters

Our land grant university research informs occasional comments and letters we share with government agencies and policymakers.

Policy Trainings

Our policy program is committed to building the "pipeline" for students, faculty, administrators and the general public to learn about and experience policymaking firsthand.

Farm Bill Seminar

In Spring 2018, BFI offered an interdisciplinary graduate seminar on the Farm Bill.

Research Database

This database is a curation of over 170 entries from UC Berkeley faculty and staff in a variety of formats: academic journal articles, reports, videos, and mainstream media pieces.

Events and Forums

See here for archived video and photos from past events and forums.

Food Policy News

Stay up to date on food policy news in California and beyond.