Policy Publications

Below are publications translating UC Berkeley research into policy recommendations on a variety of food and agriculture topics.

Federal Food Programs

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 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 brief here.

Food Safety

Publication Brief: 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.

Living Wage

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

December 2016

Sarah Ting

The brief provides context on the role of service charges in the restaurant industry and challenges restaurant workers face in trying to make a living wage. Policy changes are outlined along with supporting evidence or examples of how these changes will help restaurant workers receive more equitable wages and for there to be transparency for consumers to know who benefits from the service charge.

View the full brief here.

Pollination and Ecosystem Services

Policy Analysis Paper: Policy Mainstreaming of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services with a Focus on Pollination

December 2014

Terra Rose, Claire Kremen, Ann Thrupp, Barbara Gemmill-Herren, Benjamin Graue, and Nadine Azzu

The Berkeley Food Institute collaborated with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to author this publication. It considers the mainstreaming of ecosystem services at both national and international levels, with a focus on pollination services. Following work undertaken through the GEF/UNEP/FAO Global Pollination Project, and through funding from the Norwegian Environment Agency, this publication addresses the interface between science and policy as a contribution to the work of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Download the full pdf here.

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 full pdf here.

Soil Health

Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration in US Croplands: A Policy Analysis

May 2016

Léopold Biardeau, Rebecca Crebbin-Coates, Ritt Keerati, Sara Litke, and Hortencia Rodríguez

A Goldman School of Public Policy Independent Policy Analysis team worked with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Berkeley Food Institute in spring 2016 to identify current challenges and opportunities in cropland soil health, with a particular focus on soil carbon sequestration. Policy options to increase uptake of NRCS soil health programs in California and Iowa were analyzed, including: adapting existing NRCS technical and financial assistance programs; promoting end-market demand for crops grown through sustainable practices; increasing public-private partnerships; allowing farmers to participate in cap-and-trade; and positioning NRCS as a carbon broker for farmers. Recommendations reflect geographic diversity, crop diversity, and current challenges to soil and farmer economic security, as well as political feasibility. Final results were shared with NRCS state and national staff.

Download the executive summary here and the full report here.

UC Contributions to Food and Agriculture Policy

Leveraging Research for Food and Agriculture Policy: Lessons Learned from the University of California

July 2015

Berkeley Food Institute, UC Berkeley; World Food Center, UC Davis; Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UC San Francisco

The Berkeley Food Institute and the UC Global Food Initiative Policy Subcommittee—including the UC Davis World Food Center, the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health Advocacy Initiative—produced this compilation of successful research-to-policy cases. The case studies in this report are diverse examples highlighting ways that research at the University of California has been used to inform or affect policies in food and agriculture.

Download the full case studies here.