HEAL Platform for Real Food

A resilient, regional food economy is about a “management of home” that allows us, and our neighbors, to thrive even in the face of adversity. This is especially relevant as we confront the impacts of climate change. It includes regenerative, collective stewardship of land, water, and other natural resources. It’s an economy where there are vibrant opportunities for producers, distributors, and retailers to grow, catch, process, share, and sell local foods; where workers are owners, and where local, healthy food is the easy economic choice.

A resilient, regional food economy is about more than fair market-based relationships. It’s also about democratic governance: where local government and public organizations are accountable to an engaged populace. In this vision, cooperative ownership structures that generate real opportunities and wealth growth for low-income communities and communities of color are encouraged and supported. And it’s about meaningful work and relationships: where informal economies and traditional food ways can flourish; where human relationships and a sense of purpose are nurtured; and where there is understanding and reciprocity in our relationships with each other and the earth.

Our Solutions

  • Protect land and water by expanding emerging initiatives for regional fisheries management, and improving the regulation and prevention of pollution and environmental degradation
  • Create opportunities for regional food chain initiatives by expanding financing, technical assistance, and procurement support for community owned and “socially disadvantaged” farmers, fishers, and ranchers
  • Strengthen and expand value-added production and local food system development (see Plank 7 for revisions to existing USDA programming)
  • Ensure that food safety rules support small farmers, fishers and regional food systems; expand training and technical assistance; make certifications more affordable and accessible (reducing penalty fines) for small farmers
  • Ensure democratic community-based governance of regional food systems by promoting and funding worker-owned food and agriculture cooperatives
  • Move federal policy away from unjust trade deals and anti-democratic trade institutions which undermine sovereignty, including indigenous sovereignty, domestically and abroad
  • Incorporate resident voices and resident reporting of environmental justice violations in government targeting of environmental enforcement