As the events of the past weeks have unfolded – the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, which are only the most recent killings in an unconscionable history of racist violence; the subsequent protests calling for justice and meaningful structural change; and the federal administration’s response – we at KK&P have felt grief, anger, and a sense of urgency.
We emphatically express our support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and our commitment to dismantling racial injustice in all its forms, and particularly across the arc of agriculture, food, and health systems.
The history and reality of food in our country is intertwined with the history of Black lives and the legacy of slavery, white supremacy, and racial injustice. To borrow a metaphor from the Racial Equity Institute, racism is in the groundwater that runs beneath our food system, feeding racial inequities in land access for Black farmers, access to capital for Black food entrepreneurs, disinvestment in Black communities, and so many other injustices.
For 30 years, KK&P has worked to create sustainable, resilient, and equitable food systems. We pursue our work across two dimensions: Good Food and Good People. We believe that Good Food honors all of the people that have a hand in its creation, is not extractive of human and natural resources, empowers and nourishes those who produce and eat it, and is accessible to everyone.
We believe that Good People are at the heart of all Good Food. Our concept of Good People acknowledges that a diverse and inclusive workforce all across the food chain is essential to a society and a food system that are resilient and that nourish us all. The people that produce, process, and hold decision-making power over our food should look like and represent the communities that they feed.
While a commitment to racial justice has underscored our work for the past three decades, we challenge ourselves now to lean further into that commitment, and to frame that commitment in terms of explicit values. In the coming weeks and months, we intend to further reflect on and refine these core values and actions:
Commitment and accountability must be present to drive meaningful change. To that end, we are making the following commitments, and look forward to reporting back on our commitments in future newsletters and news posts. KK&P will:
In our work with farmers, food entrepreneurs, food access organizations, government agencies, education organizations, and numerous private enterprises, we have seen and felt the symptoms of a prejudiced and inequitable food system, from interpersonal micro-aggressions to seemingly intractable structural inequities. We have long worked to advance racial and gender equity, eradicate our blindspots, and, most importantly, to continually listen and learn. We have more, urgent work to do.