We are the Refresh working group. Each of us is working to “refresh” our nation’s food system in different ways. We are farmers, small business owners, researchers, corporate partners, nonprofit leaders, educators, community organizers, and innovators working across the US food system. This report is the fruit of our collaboration for the past nine months. It plants the seeds of our longer-term commitment to advance the future of food.
Leveraging technology to improve our food system requires working across sectors, finding pathways to better use and protect data, and devising new policies and workforce training opportunities. Produced by Swell Creative Group and sponsored by Google, what follows are collective insights from a broad range of people, from farmers to consumers, including presenters and attendees of the following conferences: National Good Food Network (Albuquerque, New Mexico); Our Farms, Our Future (St. Louis, Missouri); and AgTech South (Alpharetta, Georgia). Tackling these tough questions could ensure that healthier food is produced, distributed, and consumed.
We believe that public policy issues and the governance of data, privacy, and advanced technologies concerns all of us. We aim to think about the future and imagine what policies should look like to foster innovation while ensuring equal access to the benefits of AI. Collectively, we can build a strong coalition to ensure that technological advances across the food system work toward the common good. We invite you to journey with us into the future of agriculture, food retail, nutrition, health, and sustainability. We encourage anyone who wants to delve deeper into these issues to join us in developing a shared policy platform at the nexus of food and tech.