Established in 2010 with an endowment from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Inter-institutional Network for Food, Agriculture and Sustainability (INFAS) is a national network of university and college educators, researchers, and activists, representing 26 institutions and spanning 20 states, who collaborate in analysis, synthesis, and problem-solving with practitioners to increase U.S. food-system resilience; to illuminate critical trends and common stewardship of public goods essential for food systems, such as water, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and public institutions; and to reduce inequity and vulnerability in the U.S. food system. The purpose of INFAS is to accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems, including social justice, through collaborative networks linking academic institutions with other sectors of the food system.
INFAS is hosted at the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
We envision a US food system that is environmentally sustainable and socially just. This requires structural equality such that race, class, and gender no longer determine health outcomes, social status, or economic opportunity and that healthy, restored agroecosystems and fisheries are achievable.
- Increase the capacity of the scientific community to address the nation's major sustainability challenges
- Increase the scientific underpinnings of sustainability debates
- Raise the visibility of challenges posed by current food systems
Through addressing these objectives, INFAS ultimately seeks to improve access to healthy food for all children in the United States, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable children and communities. The network also works to identify critical trends and forge collaborative solutions to improve agriculture and food system sustainability.
During the Network's annual gathering (2013) we decided to engage in a design process to deliberately interrogate the Network’s values and its priorities for action and engagement in order to build the foundation necessary for collective impact on the food system. Our statements ('Vision' and ‘Equity in the Food System') were drafted by the INFAS design team after more than a year of reflection and discussion to underpin the Network’s mission and objectives moving forward. The Statements were finalized in September 2014 after the Design Team engaged in discussions with network members in person (including during the 2014 INFAS annual meeting) and also by email. Based on feedback the Design Team received, they developed a 'preamble' to provide a more encompassing framing to the vision and racial equity statements. Network members were invited to 'sign-on' as supporters of the statements and INFAS participation guidelines were subsequently revised to include commitment to the INFAS mission, vision, preamble, and statement on food system equity, during the annual INFAS meeting in summer 2015.