- collaboration • the action of working with someone to produce or create something
The food system is too big and complex for any one individual, organization, or political entity to change. We must work in partnership with others. No matter what aspect of the food system our members fund, some amount of their success relies on parts of other systems—social, economic, educational, and/or political—also shifting. We need each other. By facilitating connections between funders, organizing events, and offering educational opportunities, we create the space for more collaborative processes to develop.
- equity • fairness and justice in the way people are treated
We strongly believe that all lives are improved when there is a focus on equity. We want to help create a society that is fair and just in the way people are treated. To date, much of the funding for food system change has gone to predominantly white, middle- to upper-income class communities. We believe that if we are to have food and agricultural systems that enhance and sustain the well-being of people, animals, and our planet, then we must always consider the impacts on those who have been most marginalized by the industrial food system. Those communities are often rural and/or communities of color that too often have been sidelined. These communities bring rich traditions of connection to the land, and their histories and cultures and are an untapped resource and backdrop for mobilizing a new generation of leaders.
- respect • to hold in esteem or honor
All people, animals, and the planet must be treated with respect. There are many sources of knowledge, perspectives, strategies, and approaches active in creating and sustaining a vibrant, healthy, and just food system for all. Without respect, we cannot get to a place of trust; and without trust, we cannot have meaningful collaboration. By honoring each other, the natural world, and ourselves we can work together to develop a better food system.
- stewardship • the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving
Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. We believe in protecting and caring for the resources entrusted to each of us, whether those resources be farmland, financial wealth, or anything else. Practicing stewardship requires us to look carefully at distribution of power and rewards in larger systems.
- integrity • the state of being whole and undivided
To SAFSF, integrity refers to consistency in actions and values as well as the state of being whole. An ecosystem’s balance is disturbed when parts of the system are missing. Our success as a network—and the success of the food movement more broadly—in building a healthy and just food system for all depends on our interconnections, honesty, and working with integrity.