About the Alliance for Food & Farming

What is the Alliance for Food and Farming?
The Alliance for Food and Farming is a non-profit organization formed in 1989. Its membership includes approximately 50 agriculture associations, commodity groups and individual growers/ shippers who represent farms of all sizes and includes conventional and organic production. The Alliance works to provide a voice for farmers to communicate their commitment to food safety and care for the land. The Alliance for Food and Farming has a staff of three women who share a respect and admiration for the farmers who work so hard every day to bring healthy fruits and vegetables to our tables.  Marilyn Dolan serves as the Executive Director of the Alliance.  Other staff members include Rosi Gong and Teresa Thorne, neither has a title because with a staff of only three titles really aren’t necessary.  The Alliance is based in the farming community of Watsonville, California.  Our mailing address is P.O. Box 2747, Watsonville, CA 95077.  You can reach Marilyn, Rosi or Teresa by phone at (831) 786-1666 or email at info@foodandfarming.info.

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How does the Alliance provide a voice for farmers?
Through outreach to the media and consumers, the Alliance provides information and scientific analyses on many food safety subjects, including foodborne illness and pesticide use, among others.
How does the Alliance represent both organic and conventional farmers?
Many of the same issues affect farmers, no matter what production practices they use. For example, foodborne illness, where the Alliance staff spends most of its time, is of the utmost importance to all farmers. The Alliance works to communicate what farmers do every day to protect public health and prevent foodborne illnesses. Issues like pesticide residues have an impact on both organic and conventionally grown produce. Recent surveys show that 29% of consumers are buying less fruits and vegetables due to concerns about pesticide residues. Health experts around the world agree that consumers should be eating more fruits and vegetables of all kinds. This is why the Alliance adamantly encourages consumers to eat more produce, whether it is organically or conventionally grown.
What about regulatory or legislative affairs?
The Alliance is not involved with regulatory or legislative affairs.
Recently, the Alliance has issued two scientific analyses regarding pesticide residues and has publicized both. Why?
As stated above, recent research has shown that around 29% of consumers are not purchasing fruits and vegetables due to concerns about pesticide residues. Further, the Centers for Disease Control recently issued a report that consumption of fruits and vegetables continues to decline. Consumers need science-based information about this issue so that they can make informed choices in the produce aisle. The Alliance's goal is to help increase consumption by reassuring consumers that both organic and conventionally grown produce is very safe. We want Americans to enjoy the abundance and eat more. That is why we are committed to providing more science-based information. Information is power and we simply want to give consumers more information about the safety of all produce.
Will these scientific analyses be peer reviewed?
Yes. They are currently being reviewed for consideration for publication in peer-reviewed journals. This peer review process is extremely important so the media and health professionals know the information is credible and the process has been transparent. Without the peer review process, methodologies, transparency and the scientific validity of an analysis or study cannot be fully verified.
The Alliance was recently awarded a government grant to help communicate about the safety of fruits and vegetables. Can you give more details about the grant?
Yes, the Alliance received a grant of $180,000 from the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program to be used over a three-year period. The grant will help the Alliance inform health professionals, consumers and the media about the safety of fruits and vegetables and the need to consume more. Again, our goal is to provide Americans with more information to help them make purchasing decisions