The Bay Area Food Economy: Existing Conditions & Strategies for Resilience

People shopping for food at a market in Oakland's Chinatown.

The Bay Area has an extraordinarily rich and diverse food system that is an integral part of the region’s economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, regional identity and vibrant cultural life. The Bay Area has a thriving food economy, but one not without challenges and vulnerabilities.

The assets, vulnerabilities and complexity of the food supply chain and our dependence on having access to an abundance of fresh food daily require a more comprehensive understanding about our indispensable agricultural resources and food supply sectors. Equally important is understanding the interdependence of our food supply chain with regional issues such as urban and rural land use, jobs, education, transportation, goods movement, disaster preparedness, climate change and housing.

The purpose of this whitepaper is to highlight the economic and other contributions of our regional food economy, propose strategies and investments needed to protect and strengthen its contributions, and encourage increased investment in the agricultural resources and food supply sectors. The whitepaper is included as an appendix to the Bay Area Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The intention is to bring greater recognition of the role of the region’s agricultural and food-related sectors as a key growth industry by placing an assessment of its contributions, vulnerabilities and opportunities in the context of a regional economic assessment.

Download The Bay Area Food Economy: Existing Conditions & Strategies for Resilience.

Priority Development Areas (PDAs) Program

By bringing transit, jobs and housing together in downtowns, along main streets and around rail stations, PDAs help the Bay Area reduce greenhouse gas emissions and begin to solve the region’s housing crisis.