plans for community food programs. For these approaches to work, the farmers need to make a living, the store owners need to make a profit even if it is small, the price has to be reasonable for the consumers, and the cost to the government cannot increase to the point where it becomes politically impossible to do. He said it would be very useful to conduct such research so that decision makers understand and are comfortable that there is a way to actually make these programs work and sustainable.

Alaimo referred to an earlier point about learning from international studies and other countries, and suggested there may be lessons from the fair trade movement that would apply to the issue of sustainability of community food programs. There may also be lessons from cooperatives in which growers can participate in not just selling their produce, but also in owning the processing company so that they can capture a larger percentage of the profits from sales to the final consumer.

Berg echoed that point, noting that in an earlier work (Berg, 2009) he argued that real money and room for growth in urban agriculture come not from growing the food or selling the food but rather from processing it. In general, manufacturing jobs pay higher wages than those in other sectors, and there is real room for growth in that regard in food processing.

Jones ended the session noting a need to address the root causes of poverty and food insecurity, as well as a need for community-supported agriculture and community-based food system reform.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement