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Sustainable Communities and Economies

Columbia Foundation Grants awarded June 1, 2003 through May 31, 2004


The goal is to advance community and economic development programs that work to secure for the present and future, and within the means of nature a just and equitable life for all species.


Columbia Foundation focuses its grantmaking on the following:


Promotion of sustainable food systems that work toward: secure livelihood for farmers and farm workers; protection of natural resources and biodiversity; the viability of marine ecosystems and fisheries; protection of public and environmental health; access to affordable, nutritious food from local and regional sources to meet the needs of people of differing cultures and incomes; and creation of thriving regional food economies:


$50,000 to ANEWAMERICA COMMUNITY CORPORATION, Berkeley, Ca., for the Green Banana Project: Creating Sustainable Economies in New American Communities for the development of food micro-businesses that feature sustainably produced foods.

$50,000, to the CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE FOR RURAL STUDIES, Davis, Ca., for Social Equity in Sustainable Agriculture: In Search of the Third E, a project that will develop a set of social equity indicators for farm labor and test the hypothesis that sustainable agriculture offers more equitable labor conditions than industrial or conventional farming systems.

$150,000, payable over three years, to CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY, San Luis Obispo, Ca., to develop an Institute on Sustainable Agriculture within the College of Agriculture. The California Polytechnic State University Foundation is the fiscal sponsor.

$70,000, payable over two years, to the CALIFORNIA SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE WORKING GROUP, Santa Cruz, Ca., for organizational development and to establish a public policy program for sustainable food systems in California.

$35,000, to CALIFORNIANS FOR GE-FREE AGRICULTURE, Occidental, Ca., for continuing support of an education and organizing campaign on the human health, economic, and environmental impacts of genetically engineered crops in California. The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center is the fiscal sponsor.

$50,000, to the CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY, Washington, D.C., for the California Food Systems Report Card to research, publish, and disseminate report cards that evaluate key decision-makers in California including regulators, legislators, universities, food producers, commodity groups, farm bureaus, food retailers, food corporations, and others on their contributions (or lack thereof) toward promoting sustainable food and farming systems in the state.

$50,000 to the CENTER FOR URBAN EDUCATION ABOUT SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, San Francisco, for the Education Center associated with the Ferry Building Farmers' Market to educate the public about the opportunities to create regional, sustainable agriculture and food systems, and to forge links between urban residents and Northern California farmers.

$40,000, to the COMMUNITY ALLIANCE WITH FAMILY FARMERS, Davis, Ca., for membership and chapter development, and local food systems organizing campaigns with its chapters.

$40,000, to the FOODROUTES NETWORK, Millheim, Pa., to strengthen local food systems in California by increasing information about, demand for, and access to locally produced food through the creation of a Buy Local Learning Community and a Buy Local Campaign involving partner organizations in regions throughout the state. The Tides Center-Western Pennsylvania is the fiscal sponsor.

$35,000, to the INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON GLOBALIZATION, San Francisco, for 1) the Rapid Response Agriculture Report, which will examine how domestic farm economies are affected by global trade rules by providing case studies of key regions around the world, including California; and 2) a detailed microanalysis of the impact of international trade and agricultural policy on California's food system, including policy alternatives and strategies to navigate the barriers to the development of local food economies.

$35,000 to the INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR ECOLOGY AND CULTURE, Berkeley, Ca., for completion and dissemination to California food system advocates of Ripe for Change: Rethinking California's Food Economy, which documents the social, economic and environmental impacts of the import/export model of agriculture in California and makes the case for sustainable local and regional food economies.

$35,000, to MARIN ORGANIC, Pt. Reyes Station, Ca., for organizational development of Marin Organic, which works to create an interconnected, all-organic agriculture production system in Marin County, and the branding, marketing, and distribution systems that will build a viable regional food economy.

$5,000 to SAVE OUR SUNOL, Sunol, Ca., for research, and legal costs of a lawsuit to preserve 242 acres of prime farmland adjacent to the Willis Polk Water Temple in Sunol.


Development of the intellectual and policy framework for sustainability:


$70,000, payable over two years, to REDEFINING PROGRESS, Oakland, Ca., for Scenarios for Sustainability: Forecasting the Economic, Social, and Environmental Impacts of Land Use Planning that will provide concrete tools (the Genuine Progress Indicator and the Ecological Footprint) to help city planners, elected officials, and the public make better informed land-use decisions that will strengthen the economy of the San Francisco Bay Area while reducing the region's Ecological Footprint.





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