Food Commons Fresno

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"In 2012 leaders of Fresno’s business, academic and social justice communities embraced the Food Commons vision and invited the Food Commons to adopt Fresno as our first prototype site. We are working with individuals and organizations in Fresno to design and build a “fractal” of the Food Commons system here as a proof of concept and as an engine for economic development, job creation, and healthy food access in a region characterized by the paradox of great wealth and agricultural resources existing side by side with entrenched poverty, food insecurity, and diet-related chronic disease. Following completion of the initial feasibility study and business plan we expect to launch the first Food Commons Trust in Fresno this year and the first phase of Food Commons business operations by 2014." (

2. David Bollier:

"In California, the Food Commons Fresno project is one of the most ambitious regional efforts to reimagine the food system from farm to plate. Even though Fresno is located in the heart of prime agriculture lands, the region has been ecologically abused for decades and is a food desert for half a million low-income residents and farm workers. To develop systemic solutions, the Food Commons has established a network of community-owned trusts that bring together landowners, farmers, food processors, distributors, retailers, and workers to support a shared mission: high-quality, safe, locally grown food that everyone can afford.

Instead of siphoning away profits to investors, the Food Commons mutualizes financial surpluses on a system-wide scale, reducing market pressures to deplete the soil, exploit farm workers, degrade food quality, and raise prices. This approach, writes the social thinker John Thackara, “marks a radical shift from a narrow focus on the production of food on its own, towards a whole-system approach in which the interests of farm communities and local people, the land, watersheds and biodiversity are all considered together.” (