Leveraging institutional and social policy for greater impact.
Institutional food policies use the purchasing power of institutions (school districts, universities, businesses, city governments, etc.) to build more humane and sustainable methods of food production. Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle has assisted institutions such as Harvard Business School, Airbnb, Harvest Table Culinary Group, and Bon Appetit Management Company in adopting “less and better” policies that reduce reliance on animal products while sourcing higher welfare meat, poultry, and eggs. We also support efforts to make plant-based foods the default, while giving people the choice to opt in for meals with animal products—a strategy that increases uptake of plant-based meals by more than 60 percentage points. Defaulting to plant based foods is inclusive, reduces institutions’ carbon footprints, and increases the healthfulness of meals.
We also work to end factory farming through legislation and state and federal policy advocacy. Farm Forward has led or supported policy advocacy on issues such as intensive confinement of farmed animals, slaughter line speeds, megadairies, CAFO worker rights, and “ag-gag” laws, which punish anyone—including employees, journalists, and members of the public—who documents conditions for farmed animals without formal permission. We have also launched an Animal Agriculture Accountability Project with Yale Law School to accelerate state and local legal policy interventions to hold industrial animal agriculture accountable for the harms the industry inflicts on people, animals, and the environment. The Project will collaborate with a diverse set of NGO partners in the climate, animal welfare, labor, food policy, and related social justice movements to foster intersectional policy advocacy, improve cooperation among stakeholders, and ensure accountability to all affected communities.