Shaping the laws and policies that govern our food system.
Food Law & Policy Focus Areas
Food Waste and Recovery
The Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is at the forefront of policy efforts to reduce food waste and promote the recovery of safe food in the United States and around the world. Through local, state, national, and global partnerships with community-based organizations, food businesses, governments, and policymakers, FLPC leverages its expertise to identify and analyze the major legal and policy drivers of food loss and waste and barriers to greater recovery. FLPC provides guidance and targeted recommendations for improving proposed and existing laws and policies, particularly those related to date label policies, food waste deterrence policies, tax incentives for recovery and donation, and liability protections for food donors. FLPC further advises policymakers, advances strategic dialogues, and convenes and educates stakeholders on how to pursue immediate and long-term policy change.
Food System Justice
FLPC aims to create a just food system by supporting justice-oriented initiatives, promoting food sovereignty, and supporting community-driven advocacy. Creating a just food system involves dismantling systems of oppression at all stages of the food supply chain and supporting advocacy led by communities most impacted by these. As workers throughout the food system are among the most marginalized, we support advocacy for policy changes to improve wages and working conditions for food system workers. Lastly, we raise awareness of and support solutions to address the inequities deeply embedded in our food systems, including the long history of discrimination against and disparate treatment of BIPOC farmers by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other governmental and food system actors.
Food Access and Nutrition
FLPC advances legal and policy levers that improve the quality of the food supply and increase people’s physical and economic access to safe and nutritious foods. Understanding the key role that nutrition plays in shaping health outcomes, FLPC advocates for policies that promote affordability of healthy foods and decrease availability of foods associated with diet-related diseases, including food assistance programs and food is medicine interventions. FLPC further explores innovative policy avenues, including those that improve food and nutrition training for doctors and other health professionals and integrate nutrition services into health care and food systems. FLPC offers capacity building and coalition support for communities seeking additional information on relevant legal and policy tools, empowering these stakeholders to design and implement inclusive advocacy platforms.
Climate and Sustainability
FLPC works to address climate and sustainability concerns across the agricultural and food industries. Food production can have many environmental impacts on air, water, and soil, and often privileges scale rather than sustainability in food production. The food and agricultural system is both a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and an industry poised to be part of the solutions to climate change. We engage in research and advocacy on policies to help agricultural producers better mitigate and adapt to climate change, including through the U.S. Farm Bill. We work with partner organizations to help small and mid-scale food producers and food entrepreneurs decipher relevant laws and regulations so they may break into local and regional markets. Lastly, we consider ways that law and policy can incentivize change and ensure public resources are invested in production systems that will continue to provide robust and healthful food for generations to come.