Food Systems Summit Webinar

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The Summit will be a multidisciplinary gathering of lawyers, advocates, and academics dedicated to the cause. Read more below!

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Join Richman Law Group and the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute for our inaugural Food Systems Summit! We have transitioned from an in-person summit to a dynamic, multi-part series that will be held online.

The Food Systems Summit will explore creative law and policy strategies to fight fraud in the food industry and advance public health, animal welfare, environmental protection, and economic justice. The objective of the Summit will be to harness the most effective legal theories and policy thinking in defense of our food systems, developing new and innovative strategies to propel food advocacy for decades to come.

While we may not be able to meet in person at the moment, we will endeavor to host an event in the summer months to conclude our Summit and celebrate our work.

Please note, all times are in Eastern Time (EDT).

Session 1: Creating a transparent food system

Date: April 23rd, 12pm (approximately 90 mins)

This session will explore the ways in which consumer protection statutes can be used to address environmental, animal welfare, and public health concerns. When food companies deceive consumers with misleading sustainability claims, false advertising lawsuits provide a vehicle for advocates to address harmful practices that may not necessarily violate any laws or regulations. The panel will discuss the power of data and how advocacy groups can put their specialized knowledge to work in support of litigation. Finally, we will explore how best to amplify the power of litigation and campaigns to form a narrative that will deepen the impact of our collective work.

Speakers: Kim Richman, Professor Randall Abate, Jason Rathod, and Jackie Bowen

Sign up for Session 1 closed(4.22):

Session 2: How advocacy organizations are making an impact

Date: April 30th, 12pm (approximately 60 mins)

This session will explore how advocacy organizations, sustainable food producers, and progressive trade associations are spearheading positive change in the industry. We will highlight the importance of progressive businesses and trade associations that are embracing evolving consumer preferences and defining new standards and certifications in the food industry where the government fails to act.

Speakers: Jackie Bowen, Larry Bohlen, Karen Howard, and Matt O'Hayer

Sign up for Session 2 closed(4/29):

Session 3: Fighting for food policy progress across legal arenas

Date: May 7th, 12pm (approximately 60 mins)

This session will provide a cross-section of emerging legal approaches, beyond consumer class actions, that are being used to push for better practices in the food industry. Topics discussed will include innovative use of antitrust litigation and consumer watchdog lawsuits on behalf of nonprofits, along with a primer on non-litigation actions like administrative challenges, FTC complaints, and petitions before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau.

Speakers: Jason Rathod, Nathaniel Giddings, Jay Shooster, and Dena Jones

Sign up for Session 3 closed(5/6):

Session 4: Fighting greenwashing

Date: May 14th, 12pm (approximately 60 mins)

This session will discuss various advocacy approaches to protecting our food systems and our environment, all in the face of climate change and the impending collapse of our ecological biomes. While corporate resolutions, Clean Water Act claims, and the National Organic Standards Board have traditionally acted as the cornerstone of environmental change, emerging campaigns that work directly against the agrochemical industries are creating a new ecosystem for change. Everyone from children to attorneys general across the country have heeded the call to action, as have consumer watchdog groups and “Private AGs” with their white papers, reports, and databases, as well as direct legal actions against CAFOs and other entities threatening our biomes.

Speakers: Scott Edwards, Jay Feldman, Christy Spees, and Zach Corrigan

Sign up for Session 4 closed (5/12):

Session 5: Building bridges with farmers and the food industry

Date: May 21st, 12pm (approximately 60 mins)

This session will explore the opportunities and challenges for advocates seeking to form partnerships with farmers, governments, and animal agribusinesses in the fight against factory farming. Topics discussed will include the impact of CAFOs on rural communities and beyond; collaboration with farmers on anti-CAFO advocacy; working with food companies to raise industry standards; and assisting farmers with transitions from animal to plant agriculture with the aid of private funding.

Speakers: Traci Bruckner, Danielle Diamond, Leah Garces, and more TBA

Registration now open, closes (5/20) at 5pm:

Session 6: The future of food policy

Date: May 28th, 12pm (approximately 90 mins)

This session will focus on the frontier of the food movement, addressing the biggest issues facing our food systems, from food deserts to climate change, in addition to exploring bold and forward-looking solutions like the Green New Deal. This will be an interdisciplinary discussion, highlighting how the nonprofit, academic, legal, and sustainable business worlds can work together on creative solutions.

Speakers: Alexis Baden-Mayer, Craig Willingham, Henry Rowlands, Ronnie Cummins, and Council Member Ben Kallos

Registration now open, closes (5/27) at 5pm:

This event is now FREE!*

*Please contact with further questions.

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