Food Initiatives

The FLPC strives to increase access to healthy foods, prevent diet-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, and assist small and sustainable farmers in breaking into new commercial markets.

The FLPC currently focuses its work on the following four priority initiatives:

Food Policy Councils & Food Systems Planning Initiative: The FLPC works to empower state, local, and tribal communities to identify challenges in their food system, understand the legal and policy changes that could address the root causes of those problems, and implement such changes through policy advocacy. To support community food policy advocates’ capacity, the FLPC has provided assistance to food policy councils both domestically and internationally. This assistance includes helping to launch new food policy councils as well as providing policy research and guidance to existing councils. The FLPC has also published comprehensive local and state food policy toolkits, and has conducted numerous food policy trainings based on these toolkits to varied audiences of producers, retail vendors, educators, advocates, and consumers.

Food Access & Obesity Prevention Initiative: The FLPC works to identify and promote key legal and policy levers that help to increase access to healthy foods and prevent diet-related diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Many of the specific projects within this initiative are at the intersection of food and health law and policy. The FLPC is currently engaged in a type 2 diabetes policy project entitled Providing Access to Healthy Solutions, which aims to target necessary health and food-related legal and policy interventions at the federal, state, and local level, revolutionizing the treatment and prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Food Waste Initiative: The FLPC is at the forefront of policy research on reducing food waste in the United States and globally. Our September 2013 report, The Dating Game: How Confusing Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America (published in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council), examined how expiration date labels are misleading and cause significant food waste. The FLPC is continuing to work on implementation of better expiration date policies, and is expanding its food waste work by recommending policy changes in other key areas, such as tax incentives and liability protection for food donors, which could significantly decrease food waste.

Sustainable Food Production Initiative: The FLPC works to assist small-scale and sustainable food producers and food entrepreneurs with breaking into local and regional markets, and to otherwise support healthier and more sustainable food production. In 2013, the FLPC worked with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to analyze and draft comments to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on ways to make the proposed regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) friendlier to small-scale and sustainable food producers. In response to these and other comments, the FDA has agreed to issue revised proposed rules for FSMA in 2014.

Click here for more information on the FLPC’s initiatives.