Group Of Foundations Launches Food, Agriculture Policy Research Initiative

A group of foundations on Tuesday in Washington launched AGree, a food and agriculture research initiative, Bloomberg reports (Bjerga, 5/3).

The initiative, which aims to “tackle long-term food and agriculture policy issues,” is backed by eight foundations, according to press release issued by AGree. “Over the next four decades there will be an additional 2.6 billion people on Earth to feed – a 38 percent population increase from today … Simultaneously, the world faces a limited amount of easily accessible arable land, increasing pressures on freshwater quality and availability and accelerating environmental degradation,” the release states (5/3).

“The initiative’s diverse group of leaders will include Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of organic yogurt maker Stonyfield Farm; former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman; and Jim Moseley, an Indiana farmer who served as deputy agriculture secretary in President George W. Bush’s administration,” the Des Moines Register writes (Brasher, 5/3). Emmy Simmons, former assistant administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade at USAID and a board member for several agriculture and global development organizations, will also help lead the initiative, the press release adds (5/3).

“Food policy is too important just to be left to people in the food industry,” said Glickman. “For too long, food and farm policy have been related to a narrow range of interests,” he said, Bloomberg reports. According to Hirshberg, AGree will support agricultural research that is “agnostic” in an effort to help U.S. policymakers arrive at decisions that have an effect on domestic and international food production (5/3).

“AGree is funded by Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and The Walton Family Foundation,” the release notes (5/3).

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