The James Beard Foundation is recognizing "Recognizing visionaries in the business, government and education sectors responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world" with its inaugural Leadership Awards.
Best known for its James Beard Awards recognizing chefs, restaurants and food writers, among others, these awards are focused more narrowly on pioneers in the sustainable food movement.
Honorees will be honored Oct. 12 and 13 during the James Beard Foundation Food Conference, co-hosted by Good Housekeeping with help from The Daily Green, at the Hearst Tower in New York City. The conference title is Sustainability on the Table: How Money and Media Influence the Way America Eats.
The honorees are, in the words of the foundation:
Will Allen, Founder and President, Rainbow Farmer's Cooperative and Founder and CEO of Growing Power:
For his lifelong work as a farmer and community activist dedicated to supporting low-income and small family farmers who bring healthy, affordable food to urban areas.
Fedele Bauccio, CEO, Bon Appétit Management Company:
For his commitment to quality food and socially responsible food sourcing.
Debra Eschmeyer, Co-Founder and Program Director, FoodCorps:
For addressing the issues of childhood obesity and diet-related disease through school lunch programs with the National Farm to School Network and her leadership of FoodCorps' innovative programming.
Sheri L. Flies, Assistant General Merchandise Manager, Corporate Foods, Costco Wholesale Corporation:
For her work on the Juan Francisco Project, which assessed the sustainability of the existing supply chain for French beans in Guatemala and determined how it affects the lives of farmers and their families, and for playing a key role in Costco's efforts to integrate sustainable practices in its buying decisions.
Jan Kees Vis, Global Director, Sustainable Sourcing Development, Unilever:
For his work in creating the Sustainable Living Plan at Unilever with clear goals of reducing waste, water use, and GHG emissions by 50% and achieving 100% sustainable sourcing by 2020, and for his industry-wide leadership in the Palm Oil Roundtable.
Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University and President of the Board of Directors, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture:
For his lifelong work on sustainable food and farming systems.
First Lady Michelle Obama:
For launching Let's Move!, a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.
Janet Poppendieck, Author and Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York, and at the CUNY Graduate Center:
For bringing issues of poverty, hunger, and food assistance to the forefront through her teaching and books, such as Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement and Free for All: Fixing School Food in America.
Alice Waters, Chef, Author, and the Proprietor of Chez Panisse:
For her pioneering use of sustainable and local ingredients in food service and for the Chez Panisse Foundation's work in creating the Edible Schoolyard program.
Craig Watson, Vice President of Sustainable Agriculture, Sysco Corporation:
For his work to improve sustainable agriculture and integrated pest management practices for Sysco's food products; programs that have impacted over 921,000 acres of agriculture land.
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