New USDA Framework Aims to Build Resilience in Advance of 2023 Farm Bill

Lessons learned from pandemic, supply chain disruptions by war, and the climate crisis call for transformative change and resiliency building at USDA


Nydia Gutierrez, Earthjustice,

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the Food System Transformation framework with goals of transforming the food system by building a resilient and fairer food supply chain, reducing climate-changing pollution, making nutritious food accessible and affordable to consumers, and emphasizing equity.

Earthjustice’s Sustainable Food and Farming (SFF) program commends the administration on this bold and much-needed action. SFF also aims to make our nation’s food system safer and more climate-friendly by addressing pollution issues from industrial agriculture and slaughterhouse operations, supporting community gardens as a key part of urban agriculture, fighting for farmworker protections, combatting pesticides, challenging nutrition standards rollbacks, and identifying ways to reform our nation’s food and farming systems through regulatory and legislative advocacy, as well as, state and federal litigation.

Peter Lehner, managing attorney for the Sustainable Food and Farming program and author of Farming for Our Future: The Science, Law, and Policy of Climate-Neutral Agriculture, issued the following statement:

“We applaud the goals of these USDA actions — to create a fairer, more resilient, and climate-friendly food system, increase equity, and improve access to nutritious food. These should be the goals of every policymaker thinking about our food and agriculture system. We hope to see all farm system advocates enthusiastically embrace these efforts. We endorse the many specific programs, especially supporting organic transition, regional foods, and proven healthy food programs. It will be important that the additionally supported meat and processing plants both adhere to best pollution standards (that the Environmental Protection Agency will be revising) and preferentially serve small and mid-sized operations and those owned by previously underserved producers that generally employ more climate-friendly practices.”

Read about the Sustainable Food and Farming program’s victories, actions, and advocacy.

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