Berkeley Food Institute

The Berkeley Food Institute seeks to transform food systems to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. We empower new leaders with capacities to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems.

We focus on three food system themes and emphasize a holistic approach to address these pressing issues. Current examples of our work in each area include:

Promote equitable access to good food

  • Improve equity and health outcomes of food assistance programs
  • Expand access to organic food
  • Support urban agriculture opportunities

Advance fair and healthy jobs in food systems

  • Ensure fair and healthy working conditions within existing jobs
  • Foster new jobs that build economic security for working families

Accelerate the adoption of agroecology

  • Promote pollinator health through diversified farming systems and alternatives to pesticides
  • Advance policies to promote and protect soil health
graphic showing the intersections between Good Food Access, Agroecology, and Fair and Healthy Jobs

Creating Collaboration

We bring together seven schools and colleges at UC Berkeley in a multidisciplinary effort to transform our food system. We coordinate work on food systems both inside and outside the university, serving as a hub and facilitating communication among many groups and individuals.

  • Engagement with 130 affiliated faculty and staff
  • Hosting the Center For Diversified Farming Systems and Food Labor Research Center, and collaboration with several other entities at UC Berkeley
  • Opportunities for student engagement
  • Hosting distinguished visiting fellows
  • Interaction with food system stakeholders including policymakers, non-governmental organizations, farmers, workers’ groups, media, food businesses, and the broader public
Berkeley Food Institute network connections between UC Berkeley Schools and Colleges and others in the community.

Core Programs and Activities

We implement five interdisciplinary programs to achieve change. Each program has the following main projects and overlapping activities:


  • Cross-disciplinary food systems education
  • Equity and Inclusion project
  • Expanding experiential learning opportunities


  • Research grants
  • Focused research on diversified farming systems 
  • and labor in food systems
  • Working groups


  • Policy training workshops for faculty
  • Policy engagement symposia 
  • Policy brief consultancy for students
  • Communication of research to policymakers


  • Newsletter, website, media/social media, and presentations
  • California Matters video series
  • Communications training for faculty

Community Engagement

  • Community engagement/leadership fellowships
  • Urban agroecology and food justice training activities
  • Public educational events 
  • UC Global Food Initiative projects
Mailing address

University of California, Berkeley
23 Giannini Hall #3100
Berkeley, California, 94720-3100