San Francisco Healthy and Sustainable Food Policy


In June of 2009, Mayor Gavin Newsom announced an Executive Directive to promote Healthy and Sustainable Food in San Francisco.  This first-ever comprehensive food policy for San Francisco approaches the food system holistically; from food production and distribution of consumption and recycling with the acknowledgement that a thriving local food system has far reaching benefits for the health, environment and economy of San Francisco and its residents.

The Executive Directive called into action the San Francisco Food Policy Council.  The Council is tasked first and foremost with ensuring that the principles of the Executive Directive are made into law and that these laws are put to use to create healthy and sustainable food system in San Francisco.  The work of the Food Policy Council has been organized around six major themes.  For addition information please click on the links below.

Nutritional Standards

Urban Agriculture

Regional Food

Hunger and Food Security

Food Business


Nutritional Standards: From vending machines to events and meetings San Francisco can promote Healthy and Sustainable foods through the development of nutritional standards.  For more information on policies as they are developed, see:  vending machines, lease agreements, Nutrition Guidelines for City Contractors, mobile food vendors, procurement for events and meetings.

Urban Agriculture: Food production in San Francisco has a tremendous potential for growth.  The Food Policy Council will address two main barriers to urban farming in SF: access to land and educational and technnical support. A land audit will be conducted to identify potential city-owned plots of land that could be used to grow food.  Educational and technnical support for all levels of urban gardeners will be augmented and well coordinated throughout the city.

Regional Food: Farmers Markets play a central role in San Francisco's efforts to support regional farmers and increase sustainable food access.  To further enhance the role of farmers markets, the Agricultural Commissioner is developing standard rules and regulations for famers markets to ensure equitable access to local food. This involves centralizing information about fees and rules; updates to the Administrative Code; creation of a public directory of city agencies and fee schedules necessary to establish a farmers market in SF; and the establishment of annual meetings of all farmers market managers.   In order to prioritize local, sustainable food in public procurement, the SF Department of the Environment has drafted a Food Procurement Ordinance to ensure that a percentage of the City's direct food purchases support regional agricultural producers.

Hunger and Food Security: Food programs in San Francisco are not being fully utilized by the hungry and food insecure.  Food stamps and the school lunch program provide critical access to food for those in need, but funding for these programs is limited.   See Benefits SF for information on food programs in San Francisco.

Food Business: San Francisco will prioritize and cultivate both the creation of new food businesses and the success of existing ones through three main intitiatives: The Food Business Action Plan (FBAP) will bundle together city incentives to promote healthy and sustainable food retail; the Sustainable Food Business Recognition Program will highlight sustainable food businesses; and efforts will take place to ensure the continued success of the SF Wholesale Produce Market.

Fisheries: San Francisco's Institute for Fisheries Resources communicates issues surrounding local fishermen in Francisco and has prepared a policy brief about current issue including details about an exciting project being developed by the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners Association.

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