INSTITUTE FOR FOOD AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY INC

Rating: 4.7 stars   54 reviews

Issues: Food, International

Location: Food First 398 60th St Oakland CA 94618 USA

Mission: The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First shapes how people think by analyzing the root causes of global hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation and developing solutions in partnership with movements working for social change.
Results: Promotion of the concepts of the basic human right to food and food sovereignty ("right of peoples to define their own food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries systems). Publicizing the success of people who are pursuing the dream of local, sustainable food systems.
Target demographics: Young people of all ages who support access for all people to quality, culturally appropriate food.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Buy Seeds and Pumps for Gao, Mali & funded habitat restoration to bring back bees
Geographic areas served: International, national, local
Programs: Food First Programs: A Three-pronged Approach In an effort to integrate our work for food sovereignty across rural-urban and local-global arenas, nationally and internationally, Food First divides its work into three Program Areas: 1. Building Local Agri-Foods Systems In the United States, the livelihood struggles of low-income, African-American, Native-American, Latino-American, Asian-American and immigrant communities are at the center of our programs for food justice and agricultural sustainability. Low-income people of color are mobilizing locally, forming national coalitions, drafting legislation, and reaching out internationally in their efforts to build healthy, equitable, food systems that contribute to the social and economic development of their communities. The main challenge to obtaining healthy affordable food in low-income communities is overcoming the ?industrial agri-foods divide? that separates sustainable producers from low-income consumers. Food First?s ?added value? in this effort resides in our ability to produce information, analysis and learning materials that help people improve and control their own food systems. Our research informs and documents these experiences, contributing directly to the national and global debates on food and development. In Oakland, California, we are working closely with local food activists to establish a Food Policy Council. As part of this partnership, we will carry out a Market Gap Study in West Oakland, a study of Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned, and an Assessment of Bay Area Food System Assessments. Nationally, Food First is participating in efforts to build a national coalition of urban communities of color for food security. 2. Farmers Forging Food Sovereignty Dismantling the industrial agri-foods complex at the local food system level must be accompanied by the construction of alternatives that suit the needs of small-scale producers and low-income consumers, worldwide. Farmers Forging Food Sovereignty focuses on farmer alternatives to corporate control over production and consumption. The strategy is to help farmer movements for food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture document and share their alternatives among broad sectors of the rural and urban population to create political will and advance peasant-led food system alternatives. Our active projects in this program area include: The Campesino a Campesino GMO Education Project in Mexico and Central America, and our coalition work with Vía Campesina. 3. Democratizing Development: Land, Resources and Markets Social movements in the Global South are fighting for indigenous and peasant rights, land reform, sustainable agriculture, clean water, fair prices for agricultural goods, and freedom from foreign ?dumping? and GMO contamination. This program area focuses on the structural causes of hunger and poverty, and bridges the gap between transnational advocacy and local control over food system resources. Like other program areas it links critiques of the corporate-dominated food systems with farmer and consumer-led alternatives that ensure justice, equity and ecological sustainability. Our projects include the campaign for African Alternatives to the Gates-Rockefeller Alliance for a Green Revolution, and No full tanks with Empty Bellies: The Food and Fuel Sovereignty Campaign, and El Camino del Migrante: Immigrants and the Struggle for Food Sovereignty.
2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 13-2838167
510-654-4400
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

I met Eric in Bamako and his pasion and comcern for food and the depth of knowledge on sound alternatives to the false promisses being brandished around by business was infectious. His ideas stimulated a nunmber of African CSOs to resolve to work even harder together to demonstrate that communities in Africa have the solutions to their food problems and if given the right policy support can implement their ownn genuine green revolution.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Policy infleuncing for food sovereignty

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would advocate that they extend their research into poptentials for interfacing "industrial" and "family" farmimng to enhance food sovereignty while meeting increasing food demands (quality and quantity).

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was a young mother, inspired by Frances Lappe's work, when I became aware of Food First. We had five children and very little money, and I wanted to feed our family as well as possible. Food First helped me realize that we were like all parents of humble means, all over the earth, who love their children. Food First affirmed my understanding of our one single human family, and the absolute importance of sharing what we have so that there can be enough for all, and no one's plate need be empty. I'm a grandmother now, and I haven't lost my admiration for the quiet, intelligent, disinterested, and noble goals Food First has faithfully pursued all these years, for the benefit of us all.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my thinking and in that of family members.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't have a suggestion here.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

As a german woman working in the field of agriculture and rural development, I have been living and working in Chiapas, Mexico for nearly 9 years.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

In all this, sometimes we tend to forget what is happening in other parts of the world. Food First always reminds me of that, provides interesting and helpful information and, not least, of stories of success happening all over the world. Thanks!!!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide more information in spanish.

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Review from Guidestar
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

As a graduate student of agricultural policy, I've found Food First to be an invaluable resource for atypical, emerging ideas and arguments, regarding global food and development issues, that are well-grounded in reliable research and empirical evidence. Food First scholars and writers are not afraid to reveal root injustices and assign blame, but they also take care to check their facts and offer practical solutions.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I often read Food First's reports and bulletins and use many of their papers and resources for my own scholarly research and analysis.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would recommend toning down a bit of the drama in some bulletins and press releases. While passion is important, and I personally tend to agree with Food First's positions, highly sensationalized pieces give the impression Food First is not conducting objective, thorough research. More people may read and pay attention to Food First's work if it's presented and communicated in a more balanced and level-headed sort of way.

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

A reliable source of a counter-position to the official development paradigms which are mostly anti-poor, even if they are well-meaning. Food First represents an important view of the situation and is grossly underrated, especially when you compare its funding/income to other organizations.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Reading their Newsletter.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I know too little about them to answer this.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Food First's work is invaluable to developing an understanding of the key issues regarding food policy and development globally. Their vision is impeccable and their analyses cut straight to the heart of the problems at hand, often providing alternative solutions to those propounded by the eurocentric mainstream.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my research and reading the work of others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

probably not change that much!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Food First's knowledge-based activism stands as an example for many. It grounds its work in vital principles of equity and democracy. It doesn't dodge complexity, but puts across its messages in straightforward terms and through concrete cases. It continually refreshes and renews its knowledge through a wide and well-anchored network. Its overall approach keeps the focus where it should be, on skewed political and economic power, on why it needs to be tackled and on what can be done to tackle it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

comparing it with others.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

-

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Rating: 4 stars  

Food First is a great non-profit to get the hands-on experience working in the food writing world; you are not only continually researching and writing, but expanding your understanding of food justice and food systems locally, nationally, and globally. Everyone who works within Food First is caring and passionate about what they do, with a willingness to help you and have you contribute to the food justice cause.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My internship with them and in my understanding of food systems and food justice within the rest of my college and professional career, I learned so much.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide more structure for internships; many interns want to help but are unsure which direction to choose once they are inside. For those with non-profit experience it is great, but for those new to this world, it can be overwhelming at first.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

There are very few organizations that address fundamental problems. Most fix symptoms, like an aspirin fixes a headache. Food First approaches the basic problems that cause human hardship and social unrest. And they point out that even well intentioned programs can cause harm when they are implemented without an understanding of the basic problems.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've followed the predictions of Food First and watched how some of the unpleasant things have come true. I've also observed how their work has promoted small enterprises such as Fair Trade coffee, etc., and helped stabilize communities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Food first provides unique and thoughtful insight into food systems and economies. Their research and analysis is invaluable and gives a critical counterpoint to the business slanted mainstream media.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

reading their reports and analysis and using it to inform my work.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them grow the organization.

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Review from Guidestar