CIRS Blog about Rural California


By Gail Feenstra*, David Visher*, and Shermain Hardesty**

A recent study by University of California researchers examines factors that influence the development of emerging distribution networks embedded in values-based supply chains.  Included in the study are financial considerations, government regulations, industry business practices and entrepreneurial factors.  The study looks at five values-based supply chains in the California produce industry to draw out insights, best practices and conclusions.

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The following excerpts are from Chapter Nine of the new book: Food Movements Unite! Strategies to Transform Our Food System, edited by Eric Holt-Giménez, Executive Director of Food First.  The chapter from which these sections were taken is the result of an in-depth interview with Lucas Benítez from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).  The entire book examines the power of people to transform our food systems.  It argues that the global food movement is as creative and powerful as it is diverse and widespread.  Twenty-one authors from across the globe come together in this book to examine strategies for uniting efforts to create a powerful “movement of movements.”  The goal of their work is to bring healthy, affordable food to the world’s population that neither harms people nor planet. The authors address the corporatization of our food regime and offer practical and political approaches to change that are committed to democracy, justice, sustainability and food sovereignty. In short, this book is a roadmap to a brighter food future drawn by some of the most visionary activists on the planet.

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The RCR was started in 1989 to serve as an outlet for articles, descriptions of new publications and a clearing house for information on rural labor and poverty.  It was built around the Working Group on Farm Labor and Rural Poverty established at that time.  Although CIRS no longer maintains that group, we are building a group of experts who will help us, on a weekly basis, to update this spot with news and information about rural California.  We are seeking new voices to add to our discussion.

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