Policy Briefs

2018 Farm Bill

2018 Farm Bill

Supporting Local Foods in the 2018 Farm Bill

August 2018

Ryan Smith

Recent Farm Bills have created a number of programs that support local and regional food systems. However, the reality remains that many farmers selling locally continue to face significant barriers—such as distribution or physical infrastructure, access to capital, and information gaps—that prevent them from expanding their businesses and thriving. As the 2018 Farm Bill continues to take shape, it is important to take a look at opportunities that will foster the growth of local and regional food economies.

Download the policy brief here.

In Defense of a Dignified SNAP: The 2018 Farm Bill

August 2018

Athena Roesler

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps, is the largest program within the domestic hunger safety net aimed at providing necessary resources, improving dietary intake, and alleviating poverty for vulnerable Americans.

Download the policy brief here.

What Beginning Farmers Need Most in the Next Farm Bill: Land

August 2018

Adam Calo and Margiana Petersen-Rockney

The 2018 Farm Bill should prioritize measures that support land access and tenure for beginning family farmers—the highest barriers to new farmer entry and retention. We recommend three evidence-based strategies, along with specific policy measures, to improve beginning farmer and rancher success: Beginning farmers need financial resources, retiring farmers need incentives to transition land to beginning farmers, and state and federal policymakers need to protect farmland as a public good.

Download the policy brief here.

Food Safety

Food Safety

Healthy Farms and Nature are Not at Odds

FULL STUDY: JUNE 2015, BRIEF: AUGUST 2015

Daniel S. Karp, Sasha Gennet, Christopher Kilonzo, Melissa Partyka, Nicolas Chaumont, Edward R. Atwill, and Claire Kremen

The Berkeley Food Institute in partnership with the Nature Conservancy has released a publication brief on reducing environmental impacts of food safety practices. Produce growers in California have been pressured to remove non-crop vegetation and wildlife habitat on farms for food safety. A new study by Berkeley researchers shows this practice of habitat removal around farms to be costly, damaging to the environment, and not effective in reducing pathogens. In fact, it may result in higher prevalence of some pathogens.

Download the publication brief here and the full study here.

Pollinators

Pollinators

Policies to Protect Pollinators: Actions Needed to Avert a Global Crisis in Agriculture

FEBRUARY 2015

Terra Rose, Claire Kremen, and Ann Thrupp

This policy action brief outlines the following recommendations: 1. Support pollinator-friendly pesticide policies; 2. Conserve pollinator habitats; 3. Value ecosystem services; 4. Ensure participation and empowerment of diverse stakeholders; and 5. Support collaborative research and outreach.

Download the policy brief here.

Restaurant Wages

Restaurant Wages

The Right to a Living Wage for Restaurant Workers: The Role of Service Charge Regulation

SEPTEMBER 2017

Sarah Ting

Many restaurant workers fall below the poverty line. In addition to an increased minimum wage, tipping and service charges (an obligatory fee included on the customer’s bill, sometimes in lieu of optional tipping) have the potential to help restaurant workers make a living wage. This brief recommends that service charge regulations be considered to close an existing loophole within California’s labor code.

Download the policy brief here.

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

In Defense of a Dignified SNAP: The 2018 Farm Bill

August 2018

Athena Roesler

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called food stamps, is the largest program within the domestic hunger safety net aimed at providing necessary resources, improving dietary intake, and alleviating poverty for vulnerable Americans.

Download the policy brief here.

SNAP Can Support Health: Lessons for California and the Nation

SEPTEMBER 2016

Barbara Laraia and Tashara M. Leak

This brief provides information on the current implementation and health outcomes of SNAP participants in California and nationwide. Policy changes are outlined along with supporting evidence or examples of how these changes will help low-income Americans achieve a nutritious diet.

Download the policy brief here.

The Future of SNAP? Improving Nutrition Policy to Ensure Health and Food Equity

OCTOBER 2015

Hilary Hoynes and Sasha Feldstein

The Berkeley Food Institute, the Goldman School of Public Policy, and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society sponsored a workshop in May 2015 on “The Future of SNAP: Improving Nutrition Policy to Ensure Health and Food Equity.” This brief summarizes key points and critical questions that emerged from the researchers, policymakers, activists and practitioners in attendance that day.

Download the policy brief here.

Urban Agriculture

Urban Agriculture

Urban Farms: Bringing Innovations in Agriculture and Food Security to the City

AUGUST 2017

Laura Driscoll

Urban agriculture has the potential to change the face of hunger, community, and sustainability in urban areas by enabling cities to gain social and ecological benefits from vacant urban lands. Research in California provides important lessons for the nation. This brief provides justification for policymakers to adopt strategic policy changes to achieve urban farming goals in disadvantaged communities.

Download the policy brief here.

Urban Foraging

Urban Foraging

Urban Foraging in Municipal Parks and Public Schools: Opportunities for Policymakers

JULY 2017

Sabine Dabady and Philip B. Stark

By supplying accessible, nutritious food, foraging could provide a supplementary food source within the urban and peri-urban landscape as part of a multi-pronged strategy to help address socioeconomic inequities in access to nutritious foods. With state support for institutions that make it safe and accessible in municipal parks and public schools, paired with citizen education, foraging has the potential to become widely accepted and valued.

Download the policy brief here.