Ecology Center Executive Director Martin Bourque sets stage for the 2nd Annual Food Summit of the Greater Everglades Foodshed

At the invitation on Earth Learning of Miami, Florida, I am here speaking to the emerging Food Policy Council of the Greater Everglades Foodshed. Like many areas of California and other food producing regions, South Florida has both rural areas producing foods that are shipped across the planet, and a lack of access to fresh local and sustainable foods in urban neighborhoods. While South Florida farm workers from Immokalee, FL have been challenging the nation’s fast food and other outlets to commit to purchasing food grown with fair labor practices, here in Miami, local organizing on food issues is just getting cooking.

Urban agriculture, farmers’ markets, organic farming, and addressing food access are all topics of the day. In preparing for their food summit next week, Earth Learning has organized a series of preparatory workshops to set the tone for the Summit. In that spirit I am here with Armando Nieto of the California Food and Justice Coalition and Eric Holt-Giménez of Food First to share our experiences and visions of an alternative food system. While we have a 20-year head start, South Florida, like so many places in the country, is working hard to sow the seeds of a just sustainable and sovereign food system.

It is an honor and a gift to be able to share our successes, challenges, and lessons learned from over two decades at the epicenter of our local alternative food system in the Inner East Bay, and over a decade of local food policy and food justice work. If nothing more, I hope our visit is as inspiring to organizers here as their new beginnings are to me.

[Photo by National Farm Worker Ministry]

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