Who We Are

Bridging to Better Policy

Our Mission

Duke University’s World Food Policy Center (WFPC), located in the Sanford School of Public Policy, develops coordinated and inclusive food policy and practice. Our approach bridges key areas of the food system to improve human wellbeing, environmental health, and equity. We provide education to raise public awareness and understanding of food system issues to drive engagement with public policy.  At the heart of this work, we learn from and connect unique voices—including people most affected by food system challenges.

The Need for Bridging in Food Policy

  • Disconnected areas of policy: food systems are impacted by agricultural policy, education policy, local/regional/national/international development policy, environmental policy, health policy and more.
  • Disconnected management and oversight: critical components of the food system are not managed as a whole. These components include use of natural resources, food production, distribution, consumption, and food waste.
  • Impact on human health: diet-related disease is linked to 8 out of 10 leading causes of death worldwide.
  • Inequity in food access: marginalized communities are disproportionately burdened by current systems of food production and distribution.
  • Impact on the planet: food production is the single largest cause of environmental degradation and greenhouse gas
  • No standard for measuring success: the lack of globally relevant standards contributes to disconnection and siloed efforts to improve the food system.

Our Approach to Driving Change

This center catalyzes innovative thinking and coordinated action needed to change policy and practice. Our process is to listen and learn, innovate and disrupt, and thereby create impact. We do this by:

  • bridging, connecting & convening to address opportunities in knowledge, practice, policy and stakeholder engagement;
  • bringing narratives of people's lived experiences into policy development--on equal footing with research and analysis;
  • drawing guiding context from history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and reinforcing structural inequality;
  • disrupting structural drivers of inequality across the food system;
  • strategically harnessing research and engaging change agents to create impact; and
  • creating best bet recommendations for policy and practice through rigorous assessment, evaluation and metrics.

Our Values

Innovation: disrupt the status quo to create needed solutions and a better food future for all

Equity: strive with optimism towards inclusiveness, diversity and equity in food system policy and practice

Integrity: listen with humility, act through transparency, speak with respect

Collaborate: seek to bridge barriers and build relationships