New Partners in Creating a Vivid Picture
The Vivid Picture is a collaborative project, striving to create a vision of a healthy food system for California. This process necessarily involves multiple stakeholders and perspectives, networked through the state's entire food system.
Four new partners have recently joined the Vivid Picture team in creating this blueprint for a sustainable food system.
Community Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF) (www.caff.org) works within California to foster family-scale agriculture that cares for the land, sustains local economies and promotes social justice. CAFF has an extensive network of relationships with all kinds of producers throughout the state. Karen Zimmer, CAFF Membership Coordinator, will serve as the Producer Input Coordinator for the Vivid Picture project, identifying producer advisors, data on producers in California and information for producer related modeling exercises.
The International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) (www.isec.org.uk) is a non-profit organization concerned with the protection of both biological and cultural diversity. ISEC's newest publication, Ripe for Change: Rethinking California's Food Economy (2004), argues for the need to localize the food economy in California. This report looks at California's food system from seed to table, accounting for many of the hidden costs of what is often assumed to be a highly successful model. ISEC's Local Food Program Coordinator, Katy Mamen will input research, data and recommendations based on the findings from the Ripe for Change report. ISEC will help evaluate alternative trade scenarios and assist in setting parameters for creating indicators to measure sustainability.
Straus Communications (www.strauscom.com) is a communications and marketing firm exclusively focused on promoting sustainable solutions. Current areas of focus include organic and natural foods, sustainable agriculture, socially responsible investment and media-oriented services. Michael Straus and team member Ali Edwards will provide stakeholder communications, web content and media relations for the Vivid Picture.
UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) (www.sarep.ucdavis.edu) provides leadership and support for scientific research and education in agricultural and food systems that are economically viable, conserve natural resources and biodiversity, and enhance the quality of life in the state's communities. SAREP serves farmers, farm workers, ranchers, researchers, educators, regulators, policy makers, industry professionals, consumers, and community organizations across the state. Gail Feenstra, SAREP's Food Systems Analyst, is developing food systems indicators for the Vivid Picture project. These indicators will help to measure baseline information and chart progress. This work will draw from a system that Gail has developed to measure food system indicators in three California county "foodsheds." Case studies can be viewed at: www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/cdpp/foodsystems/countystudies.htm
Reported by Ali Edwards, Straus Communications