San Diego Food System Alliance (SDFSA) Launches Food Vision 2030

| September 6, 2021 | 0 Comments

After two years of intensive research and deep collaboration with community partners, The San Diego Food Alliance (SDFSA) has officially launched San Diego County Food Vision 2030. The in-depth report, released in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic’s upheaval to our regional economy and food supply chains, highlights where our food system fails communities and workers, and also puts forward 10 objectives that will help us heal our food system over the next decade by cultivating justice, fighting climate change and building resilience.

Food Vision 2030 is a project of SDFSA, an alliance of organizations promoting collaboration across the nonprofit, government, philanthropic, and business sectors to solve San Diego County’s food problems. The effort has been championed by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, particularly Supervisors Fletcher and Vargas. While spotlighting local voices already on the ground working to make this a reality, the report outlines the steps needed over the next decade to create a more just, sustainable food system in San Diego County—one that will uplift food workers, allow more equitable access to nutritious food and more readily withstand future catastrophic events like the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The past year has proven we have a food system that fails to provide for the vast majority of our communities,” says Elly Brown, executive director of the San Diego Food System Alliance and Mission Hills resident. “It’s not broken, but instead working exactly how it was designed, concentrating wealth and power in the hands of a few. Our goal should not be to ‘fix’ the system, but rather transform it completely, by confronting the systemic injustices it was built on—including the exploitation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color. We need to rebalance power, so that our communities have a say in how their food is grown, produced, sold, and shared.”

A Glimpse Into the Future 

Nearly 3,000 San Diegans—the majority of whom were essential workers and from marginalized communities—shared what they believed our food system needed most in neighborhood-level surveys, interviews, virtual focus groups and other forums. Many more local leaders, representing community organizers, major philanthropic groups, nonprofits and government shared their insights through interviews, focus groups, or by serving on the Alliance Leadership Council and the Food Vision 2030 Steering Committee, informing the report’s three goals, ten objectives, and detailed strategies. 

The Way Forward 

The report lays out three major goals that should drive the movement to transform San Diego County’s food system: 

  • Cultivate justice by increasing health, wealth, leadership and power for BIPOC communities in San Diego County;
  • Fight climate change by mitigating its impacts and ensuring our food producers and food system can withstand more frequent extreme weather events; and 
  • Build resilience by strengthening our connection to food, building a stronger public safety net, and investing in our local food economy. 

Ten objectives, detailed in the report, underpin Food Vision 2030’s strategy to reach these three goals. These ten actions—for example, Increase the viability of local farms, fisheries, and food businesses; Elevate wages and working conditions; and Preserve San Diego County’s agricultural land and soils—require extensive cooperation among community organizers, nonprofits, governments, business, and philanthropic organizations.

How to Take Action

While Food Vision 2030 outlines exactly how governments, nonprofits, philanthropic groups, community organizers and food retailers can work together to achieve these goals, there are steps each San Diegan can take right now to make our food system more just, equitable and sustainable: 

  • Buy from local farms, fisheries and food businesses. 
  • Support policies and candidates that combat climate change. 
  • Donate money to organizations working on food justice in your neighborhood. 

“Food Vision 2030 is more than a plan—this is a movement,” said Brown. “We need a thriving local food ecosystem that can survive future shocks like the Covid-19 pandemic, and the growing impacts of climate change. We invite you to imagine a food system that works for all by exploring Food Vision 2030, and joining us as we launch our movement.” 

Learn more about Food Vision 2030 and read the full report at

Elly Brown, a Mission Hills resident, is executive director of the San Diego Food System Alliance.

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