Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach Supports the Good Food Purchasing Program

On January 24th, 2018, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach’s Anti-Trafficking Project members showed up to San Francisco City Hall to provide public comment to show support for creating legislation that would implement the Good Food Purchasing Program across the city and county of San Francisco, following San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) example. SFUSD signed their commitment in 2016 to use their food service budgets for food system change.

A policy like this would shift food procurement and ensure that food served in San Francisco public institutions, including hospitals and jails, is healthy, environmentally sustainable, local, and fair. It would also be a means to get at potential trafficking in the food supply for food that the City purchases. A policy like this would make San Francisco the first county in the United States to adopt such a policy.

A staff member of the Anti-Trafficking Project at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach provided public comment in support of the Good Food Purchasing Policy in front of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – Supervisors Ronen, Sheehy, and Fewer.

“The Good Food Purchasing Program is the best choice for the food procurement standards because it takes a holistic approach to the food system. It is community investment and self investment and creates a model that will equally benefit those that are part of the chain of production as well as those in the community that will ingest what is created.”

“Procuring local, sustainable, fair, and humanely produced foods is an opportunity for the city to empower its own inhabitants. The city will improve access to healthy, high-quality food for all in the community by taking those choices of how we feed ourselves, our neighbors and how we treat each other, back into its own hands.”

The ATCBA believes that the five Good Food Purchasing Program values of nutrition, animal welfare, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, and local economies should guide the county’s food procurement policy. Having policies that reflect values like environmental sustainability and a valued workforce further enhance the county’s commitment to not tolerate the crime of human trafficking, in any form.

On any given day, the food and drinks we consume may have been farmed and fished by workers in involuntary servitude. Though workers in involuntary servitude may not be the majority of those in agriculture, fishery, and livestock industries, trafficking occurs along a spectrum of systemic abuse against workers in these industries. As consumers, we have the power to demand that the supply chain be transparent and power in fighting against such labor abuses. Consumer choice can contribute to the protection of human rights for all those that are working in these industries. Consumers have the power to demand companies to eradicate exploitative labor in their supply chains.

The ATCBA stands behind this unique and powerful opportunity to empower our communities by giving ourselves as members of the community the power of CHOICE.   This choice of how we feed ourselves, our children, our neighbors, the way in which we value ourselves in terms of what we put into a physical bodies, as well as how we value the systems the create this food. We support the city and county of San Francisco in exploration the legislation to procure local, sustainable, fair, and humanely produced foods, while improving access to health, high-quality food for all communities.