The San Mateo County Food System Alliance (SMFSA) has been breaking ground for the Alliance movement since its formation in November 2006. As the first Food System Alliance in California, the group has sought to bring together all the parts of the local food system into a cohesive group capable of creating an ever healthier and more vibrant local food economy.

Throughout their history the Alliance has worked hard to hear and understand the different perspectives on San Mateo food and farming from the views of “coast-side” farmers and fishermen, to “bay-side” community service workers struggling against poverty and obesity. This is also the first Alliance in California to seat both the County’s Agricultural Commissioner and its Public Health Officer, creating an unprecedented opportunity to link local food production to healthy citizens and improve food system coordination.


  • Information gathering and sharing
    • Promoting awareness and food system knowledge and acting as a balanced resource to the community and press
    • Connecting community and leaders to their food and enhancing their capacity for an understanding of the importance of sustainability
  • Actively engage the community members on the food system issues affecting San Mateo County
    • Be a responsible, educated and objective voice for food system change
    • Provide a forum to explore and address food system opportunities and challenges
    • Connect constituencies and expand their ability to collaborate effectively
  • Advocate for and develop innovative policies and approaches to tackle tough problems
    • Promoting and supporting efforts that ensure access to healthy, sustainable food for all residents, and protect and regenerate our precious natural resources
    • Creating and supporting long-term solutions that promote a strong agricultural industry, safeguarded natural resources, access to healthy food, and an overall sustainable food system