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A New Policy Platform to Navigate the Intersection of Food and Technology – Food Tank – Food Tank


Food Tank, in collaboration with the Refresh Working Group, is introducing a roadmap for policymakers around best practices in navigating the intersection of food and technology. Download the report HERE.  

According to the Federal Communications Commission, approximately 25 percent of the rural population in the United States lacks fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. This severely limits the reach of rural businesses, including farms and farmers’ markets. Meanwhile, more than 40 million people across the United States are food and nutrition insecure and rely on food assistance programs in order to feed their families, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. There are opportunities throughout the supply chain to put data and technology to work for producers and consumers. And to connect the source of fresh food with people who are in need.

The Refresh Food + Tech Policy Platform introduces Five Policy Focus Areas that establish guidelines for the use of data and technology in the food system. The Focus Areas and recommended next steps allow stakeholders to be confident that they are acting responsibly in utilizing technological advancements in agriculture and food. The Five Policy Focus Areas are: Physical and Digital Food Security, Data Protection, Supply Chain Transparency, Broadband Expansion, and Digitally-Skilled Workforce.

From February 1-5, Food Tank will be hosting a series of daily virtual panels featuring 20 speakers and co-hosted by Chloe Sorvino (Forbes) and myself.

You can register for free for any of the topics or speakers most relevant to you HERE.

Themes and speakers include (with more to be announced):

Monday, Feb. 1: Empowering Consumers Through Transparency. Panelists: Dana Gunders, ReFED; Mark Kaplan, (en)visible; Matt Wadiak, Cooks Venture; and Rick Whitted, Feeding Children Everywhere.

Tuesday, Feb. 2: The Power of Connectivity: Broadband Expansion in Rural Communities. Panelists: Michelle Miller, UW Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems; Leanna Mulvihill, Farm Generations Cooperative; Kim Olson, retired U.S. Air Force and Democratic nominee for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture; and Ankita Raturi, Purdue University.

Wednesday, Feb. 3: Protection and Accessibility: Ensuring the Fair Use of Data in the Food System. Panelists: Kacey Hanson, Dell Medical School; Ali Lange, Google; Matthew Lange, IC-Foods; and Robyn O’Brien, rePlant Capital.

Thursday, Feb. 4: Reducing Inequities Through a Digitally Skilled Workforce. Panelists: Kevin Krueger, Facebook; Jose Oliva, HEAL Food Alliance, Dr. Sekou Siby, ROC United, and more to be announced soon!

Friday, Feb. 5: Strengthening Supply Chains to Build Trust and Improve Food Security. Panelists: Tatiana Garcia Granados, Common Market; Chris Roper, Chris Roper Services; Karen Washington, Rise and Root Farm; and Amy Wu, From Farms to Incubators.

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