Florida Food Policy Council

L E A D I N G  F L O R I D A  F O O D


  • 7 Jun 2019 4:20 PM | Administrator (Administrator)

    In April 2019, food innovator and TED Fellow Bruce Friedrich brought up noteworthy points in his talk "The Next Global Agricultural Revolution" about conventional meat production and its effect on the environment.

    “In 2019, humanity received a warning: 30 of the world's leading scientists released the results of a massive three-year study into global agriculture and declared that meat production is destroying our planet and jeopardizing global health. One of the study's authors explained that ‘humanity now poses a threat to the stability of the planet ... [This requires] nothing less than a new global agricultural revolution.’”

    With the ever-growing population, meat consumption is at an all-time high. It is predicted that by 2050, “we’re going to need to be producing 70 to 100 percent more meat,” says Friedrich. With the current unsustainable conventional meat production methods, he addresses the challenge before us—transforming the meat production system.

    In this talk, Friedrich discusses his solutions to this problem, and how plant- and cell-based products could be the transformation the meat industry has been waiting for.

    Watch the full TED Talk here.

    On June 28, learn more about this topic by attending the FLFPC June Policy Committee Meeting where Tom Pellizzetti will be presenting observations and shared learnings about "Food Processing for Small Producers: Local and Regional Niche Meat Systems, Selling Channels, and Consumer Trends Driving Transformation." To learn more and register for the event, click here.
  • 1 Jun 2019 10:40 AM | Administrator (Administrator)

    In part one of a special series on Florida’s agriculture industry, Shawn Mulcahy from WFSU News reports on the effect of the latest tariffs levied by the Trump Administration.

    “An escalating trade war with China is casting a dark cloud over Florida’s blueberry industry,” says Mulcahy. “In recent years, President Donald Trump has imposed billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods…But the U.S.-levied tariffs have led China to impose retaliatory tariffs on American goods. That’s taken a toll on domestic industries, particularly farmers.”

    Bud Chiles, son of former Gov. Lawton Chiles, who has been a full-time farmer for the past 10 years, conveyed his concerns about the recent round of tariffs. He noted the need for government to do more to protect local farmers.

    Although President Trump has given billions of dollars in aid to farmers to help ease the impact of the tariffs. Chiles doesn’t believe that the problem can be solved by simply handing out money.

    “Well those payments are – that’s not what farmers want,” said Chiles. “People don’t want a handout from the government, they just want to be able to compete. We just want to be able to compete.”  

    Another blow to Florida blueberry farmers may come if a trade deal with Chinese importers, which has been in negotiations for seven years, is put on hold because of the new tariffs.

    Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture commissioner also commented on the situation, “Florida is on the verge of exporting blueberries, one of our state’s top crops, to China – but these new tariffs threaten that trade opportunity,”

    “If President Trump is serious about putting America first, he should start by putting Florida farmers first – not by inciting trade wars with China,” Fried said.

    Read the full article here.

  • 17 May 2019 8:50 PM | Anonymous

    By Dell deChant

    Food SovereigntyFood sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”– Declaration of Nyéléni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007.

    See also: U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance, http://usfoodsovereigntyalliance.org/what-is-food-sovereignty/

    Urban Food Sovereignty is here conceived as the right of persons in urban ecosystems to define their own food and agriculture policies and practices, and to produce healthy and culturally appropriate food through their own means using ecologically sound and sustainable methods, independent of industrial food systems.

    ~ Derived in part from work of La Via Campasina (est. 1993)

    Some Relevant Concepts  (derived from U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance)


    Food sovereignty puts the right to sufficient, healthy and culturally appropriate food for all at the center of food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries policies.


    Food sovereignty values all those who grow, harvest and process food, including women, family farmers, herders, fisherpeople, forest dwellers, indigenous peoples, and agricultural, migrant and fisheries workers.


    Food sovereignty brings food providers and consumers closer together so they can make joint decisions on food issues that benefit and protect all.


    Food sovereignty respects the right of food providers to have control over their land, seeds and water and rejects the privatization of natural resources.  FS opposes surplus food dumping, mass-feeding operations, GMO seeds and foods, and colonization by Industrial Agriculture.


    Food sovereignty values the sharing of local knowledge and skills that have been passed down over generations for sustainable food production free from technologies that undermine health and well-being.


    Food sovereignty focuses on production and harvesting methods that maximize the contribution of ecosystems, avoid costly and toxic inputs and improve the resiliency of local food systems in the face of climate change.


    Recognizing the sources of our existence and living so as to sustain and enrich those sources – privileging the local, the seasonal, the organic, the sustainable, the resilient, the cooperative.

    See also, USF Food Sovereignty Group web page:


    Good accessible texts

    Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups – Andrew Fisher

    Food Justice – Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi

    Food as a Human Right: Combatting Global Hunger and Forging a Path to Food Sovereignty – Will   Schanbacher

    Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community – Hannah Wittman, et al (eds)

    Grounded Vision: New Agrarianism and the Academy – William Major

    The Politics of Food: The Global Conflict Between Food Security and Food Sovereignty, Will Schanbacher  

    Religious Agrarianism: And the Return of Place – Todd Le Vasseur


    Food First -  https://foodfirst.org/about-us/

    U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance - http://usfoodsovereigntyalliance.org/

    La Via Campesina - https://viacampesina.org/en/who-are-we/

    * Policy Reflection Topic

    Legislation prohibiting home rule on vegetable gardens - Senate Bill 82, House Bill 145.



  • 3 May 2019 10:39 PM | Anonymous

    "It's been a long journey, but initially it started when I learned about factory farming/industrial animal farming, which motivated me to become vegetarian but also inspired me to learn how crop lands can be taken advantage of." Sophia Gibaldi is a Nutrition Educator with the Miami Dade Public Schools. Her first encounters with the food system helped her decide to study horticulture at the University of Florida and get involved in growing food herself. To her, gardening is also very fun.

    For Sophia, connecting with the outdoors was life-changing. "It's something we've done for generations and feels so human." That connection drives her every day. She will never go back to not growing at least some of her own food. In college, Sophia started off volunteering on a farm and then getting a job as a "farm hand" around the country, in Asheville and Gainesville, and even around the world, in Australia. She also worked as a science tutor and garden mentor at a community space where she implemented a garden. This became a loved learning space for 3rd to 5th graders, using the garden during every lesson.

    All of these experiences brought Sophia to her current position as a Nutrition Educator, expanding garden programs in 50 schools in Miami Dade County and incorporating garden food into the cafeteria, weaving this food into the school culture. "They're eating it, and the students are fully comprehending what it really means to connect with your food."

    Sophia's key message from her work over the years and especially now are that kids of all ages are desperate to get outside and work with their hands in the dirt. She believes they need it to feel human, and this work at the gardens is very life changing not only for comprehensive academic success, but also for enhancing communication, family relationships, emotional support, physical activity, and excitement about going to school. Despite some kids' troubles at home, being outside in the garden and connecting with this space is a key component to making them a "happy human", in Sophia's words.

    Sophia wants to see a world where every kid is working in a garden, and there are so many places to start. Go to your school board meeting and get involved in implementing garden education, or volunteer at a school. The possibilities are endless, and the benefits are priceless.

  • 19 Feb 2019 9:19 AM | Florida Food (Administrator)

    By Rachel Ram

    After moving to Sarasota four years ago, Paul Murphy’s vision to create a more sustainable future for not only Florida, but for the world, came alive.

    His first step in this direction was volunteering with Transition Sarasota, an organization that believes in building sustainable communities from the bottom up. He helped with gleaning, organic farms and more, before finding FLFPC.

    Raised catholic, Paul believes food is plentiful and all is already provided for us. However, because money came in between, lack of access and therefore food banks became necessary. However, Paul’s main goal it to bring back the Garden of Eden.

    Food forests, community gardens, turning grass into gardens, and policies to implement native and edible planting only are among the initiatives Paul helped support and even install into county of Sarasota’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan. Paul’s activism doesn’t stop at plants, however. He is working with cleanups as well as keeping plastic from being manufactured, using biodegradable alternatives instead.

    With 800 people moving to Florida a day, Paul emphasizes that we need to make a change. Our aqueducts are drying up, salt water is traveling inland at an alarming rate with nitrates coming through our drinking water. He says that at our current rate, we’ll need dehumidifiers due to water being so polluted if we don’t change. “It’s all about returning to nature. It’s a cycle, one slice of the pie. If not, greed will take over again. People will take advantage and continue”

    Also a vegan, Paul believes you can’t be a true environmentalist unless you are. He says we need to start a movement, not just an organization.

    You may be wondering- what can I do to get involved? His advice is:

    • Go to city meetings
    • Start comprehensive plan meetings in the other counties to implement policy for only nature and edible plants
    • Join local organizations, such as Transition, Tropical Fruit Society or community gardens

    If Paul can send home any single message, it’s to stop talking and actually take action. We need to be proactive toward healthy changes by planting the seeds for success.

    In Paul’s words:

    “I am sharing this because I feel it's critical for the next several generations, in our world with an ever-increasing population, that will have food and water issues.

    "I started the Garden of Eden Project in Sarasota that begins by initiating food policy in each city and county plan for growing native plants as well as fruit and food trees instead of non-natives ornamentals.

    "Imagine a world when we can walk around in our neighborhoods and cities picking fruits off trees for free. Free food for homeless people, lower income or poor people, as well as for everyone else who wants to partake in the fruits of our labor."

  • 3 Jan 2019 10:56 AM | Florida Food (Administrator)

    Governor Rick Scott announced the launch of two VISIT FLORIDA Hurricane Michael assistance programs. These programs exist to aid local tourism businesses in the counties that were included in the FEMA major disaster declaration on October 11. 

    The following programs are now available to tourism businesses in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties.

    The Tourism Recovery Grant Program for Hurricane Michael is available for tourist development boards and marketing programs through advertising, direct mail, brochure production, website development and other related projects/programs. The Hurricane Michael Recovery Marketing Program is available immediately at no cost to all small, medium, and large tourism businesses. The program provides complimentary VISIT FLORIDA marketing partnerships through June 30, 2019. 

    Tourism businesses in the Panhandle are asked to continue sending blog posts for the Florida Now landing page. 

    If you have any questions, reach out to Industry Relations Team at partner@VISITFLORIDA.org. 

  • 14 Jun 2018 6:00 PM | Deleted user

    The Florida Food Policy Council will host its second annual membership meeting at the Sanford Civic Center on Saturday, June 23, from 9am to 4pm. Council members will gather to share ideas in a midterm election year that decides Florida's next Commissioner of Agriculture. 

    At the annual meeting, members will discuss the upcoming Commissioner of Agriculture candidate forum presented by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida and the Florida Food Policy Council, to be held at the university on August 2nd. 

    "This forum represents a wonderful opportunity to hear from candidates across the political spectrum about their vision for how our food is grown, distributed, and sold," said Frank Wells, CEO of Venture House and FLFPC Vice Chair. "These actions impact every Floridian's access to good, safe, healthy food, and the environmental legacy we leave for future generations." 

    Wells organized the candidate forum with the help of FLFPC board member Dell DeChant, Associate Chair of Religious Studies at USF. 

    "Cooperation between the Department of Religious Studies at USF and the Florida Food Policy Council highlights the engagement of the council with academic communities," says deChant. "It's also an opportunity for the department to showcase its commitment to research on ethical and cultural horizons in food studies and sustainability." Admist the excitement of such a visible platform, council members will also discuss plans to identify and connect existing data projects that can provide a multi-layered picture of health, agricultural, and economic issues facing Florida's diverse food system.

    "The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Department of Health have made joint efforts to identify geographic areas challenged with food insecurity and preventable, diet-related diseases," says Anthony Olivieri, founder of FHEED, LLC, community food systems consultant, and FLFPC board member. "The council aims to identify policy opportunities in these areas."

    Another objective at the June meeting will be to explore opportunities for strategic partnerships among state agencies, large and small businesses, and human service organizations. The council is looking to expand its partner network and raise visibility leading up to 2020.

    "In any large, diverse system, there are many voices clamoring to be heard. Our mission is to promote integrity and collaboration within the food system for the benefit of all Floridians and the environment," said Rachel Shapiro, Executive Director of Heal the Planet Together, Inc. and FLFPC Chair. "The first step in fulfilling this service is to listen to the Floridians who are already doing great work and distinguish how we can best facilitate integrity and collaboration within the existing framework." 

    Since the first annual membership meeting in June 2017, the council has acquired start-up funding, developed a strategic plan, and filed for 501(c)3 status. In the coming year, members will develop a regional network that supports local activity while connectiong local efforts to braoder statewide objectives. Next steps include the production of policy papers, model ordinance tool kits, and a statewide speakers bureau. 

    The annual meeting is open to anyone interested in Florida's food system. Event registration includes one year of council membership. Membership is open to individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies, with a discounted fee for students. 

  • 18 May 2018 3:36 PM | Deleted user

    Mary Meade

    Mary Meade is a content creator based in Tallahassee, FL, with a degree in International Affairs from Florida State University. As a communications specialist, she loves connecting individuals to ideas and developing community through diversity. She is most passionate about bridging the gaps between social and environmental justice through mission-driven businesses and organizations. Her favorite pastimes are hiking and camping in nature.

  • 18 May 2018 3:33 PM | Deleted user
  • 26 Apr 2018 3:30 PM | Deleted user

    Laureen Husband

    Laureen Husband, E.D., is the Director of Community Planning & Assessment at the Florida Department of Health in Duval County, and provides oversight over coalitions under Healthy Jacksonville within the department. She joined FDOH-Duval in June 2010 to oversee and facilitate local dialogue and engagement around chronic conditions and illnesses such as childhood obesity, food insecurity, asthma, diabetes, and worksite wellness through public/private partnerships.

    Before joining Healthy Jacksonville, Husband was the Senior Program Manager for Polk County Health Department’s HIV/AIDS Program. Prior to that, Husband developed, implemented and managed programs addressing the wellbeing and welfare of children and women in the nonprofit sector. She has extensive experience working with community groups to address socio-economic security as well as health disparities. Husband’s areas of expertise include community development, food policy, grant writing, education, cultural competency, fiscal management, and resource development after natural disasters.

    Husband has published a dissertation on the lived experiences of women on poverty. She was educated at the University of West Florida, University of Kentucky, and Berea College. She grew up in a small village in Kenya, East Africa.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software