Institute For Food And Development Policy Inc

Rating: 4.71 stars   55 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Food, International


Food First 398 60th St Oakland CA 94618 USA


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.


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


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.

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Reviews for Institute For Food And Development Policy Inc

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

Their literature talks about "food justice" and the 99% getting sick and tired while "multi-billionaires make mega-profits speculating with our food". It also has code word "occupy" and talks about the "injustices that cause hunger" and that "food has become another form of oppression" and many more progressive buzzwords. I'd rather donate to local food pantries.

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Review from CharityNavigator
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: General Member of the Public
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
Role: General Member of the Public
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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