by Susan Able, Edible DC
Food Policy Action (FPA) was founded in 2012 by Tom Colicchio, Ken Cook and other food policy leaders to advocate for progressive food and farming legislation by educating elected officials and holding them accountable on their voting record.
FPA’s main focus is on promoting policies that support healthy diets, reduce hunger, improve food access and affordability, uphold the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increase transparency, improve public health, reduce the risk of food-borne illness, support local and regional food systems, protect and maintain sustainable fisheries, treat farm animals humanely and reduce the environmental impact of farming and food production.
It’s a big agenda, but according to Claire Benjamin, FPA’s executive director, “It really is about education and accountability. If we can educate the public on the key issues, show that there are legislative solutions that can help solve some of the most critical problems in our food supply chain, and let voters know how their elected officials are voting on these issues, we know we can change the national dialogue on food policy.”
Chef Tom Colicchio is the public face of FPA and he makes frequent trips to Washington to meet with lawmakers on issues that impact the food system like GMO labeling and social safety net programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps). Colicchio also stays highly visible on behalf of FPA by giving frequent lectures, participating in TED Talks and key food policy conferences and attending this year’s State of the Union to hear President Obama talk about priorities and common ground for 2015.
“Few things have as much direct impact on our day-to-day lives as food,” says Colicchio.
“Food Policy Action scores the members of the House and Senate on votes that impact the food system,” he says. “Consumers are hungry for more information about how to fix our food system and how their elected officials are voting on policies that impact food and how it is grown in this country.”
For more information, go to foodpolicyaction.org.