Sustainable Food Systems

We work to ensure that:
  • every California resident has access to healthy food
  • every California farmer can succeed in business
  • every worker throughout the food system is treated equitably
  • and communities throughout California thrive with the support of regional food systems


Regional Food Systems Marketing and Supply Chains

Bart over a fieldUC SAREP works to improve the pathway from farm to fork. The path between the two is an integral piece of our food system, and can heavily impact its sustainability. Farmers need access to market places to sell their produce; buyers need access to healthy and affordable food choices.

Expanding Market Opportunities for Farmers


Farm to School/Farm to Institution

lady preparing orangesFresh, local food is findings its way to consumers through a growing number of channels. Increases in local food sales to primary schools, colleges, hospitals, prisons, corporate cafeterias and other institutions can build local food economies and provide greater access to healthy food for the public.

UC SAREP helps build farm to school and farm to institution programs around California and the United States by partnering with communities to assess the effectiveness of these local food programs and recommending steps to improve them.

Our evaluations can serve as tools for school districts and institutions interested in beginning their own programs, and can help existing programs improve with practical suggestions for day-to-day operations.

Project Portfolio


Regional Food Systems Assessment and Policy

farmers marketA close look at a region’s food system is a powerful way to understand the region's health and prosperity. The food system incorporates every resident - from farmers who grow food, to truckers who transport it, food workers who prepare it, and everyone who buys, eats and disposes of food.

UC SAREP empowers communities throughout California to strengthen their regional food systems and all those impacted by them. With county-level partners, we conduct food system assessments to examine the relationships between agriculture, regional environmental quality, human health and local livelihoods.

UC SAREP also serves as a portal to the community/regional food systems resources available to community members, local non-profits and researchers.

UC SAREP works closely with food policy councils throughout the state to provide regulatory support.

Project Portfolio


Farmworker and Food Worker Well-being

farm workersWe are working to promote a more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable food system in California. We work with stakeholders to develop appropriate research on farmworker and food system worker issues, analyze existing research, and build networks of researchers and practitioners.



Horse and buggyAgricultural tourism (agritourism) is a commercial enterprise at a working farm or ranch conducted for the enjoyment and education of visitors, and that generates supplemental income for the owner or operator. UC SAREP, working with county-based UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors, provides resources for agritourism operators and hosts California's statewide directory and calendar of agritourism operations.