Climate, Food, and Agriculture Dialogue
Meridian formed the Climate, Food, and Agriculture Dialogue (CFAD) to develop a bipartisan coalition with the substantive and political acumen to craft and champion solutions that integrate food and agriculture into U.S. federal climate policy.
Food and agriculture are inextricably linked to the climate – both in terms of experiencing climate change impacts and having an important mitigative role to play. Yet, the sector was largely absent from the last major attempt at comprehensive federal climate legislation, contributing to its demise. Political advisors – on both sides of the aisle – asked Meridian to engage food and agriculture in working toward bipartisan federal climate legislation.
In 2019, Meridian launched the Climate, Food, and Agriculture Dialogue (CFAD) under the banner of the AGree Initiative to develop recommendations for federal climate policy that align food, agriculture, and climate interests. CFAD’s policy work is informed by a set of guiding principles that were developed by consensus.
Comprised of conventional producers, regenerative agriculture interests, supply chain leaders, environmental and climate NGOs, and foundation representatives, CFAD is developing strategies for how to deploy meaningful and measurable action across millions of acres of working lands. The group is unique in its membership, independence, and ability to advocate for its policy ideas on Capitol Hill (through the Meridian Implementation Fund.)
Current efforts are focused on strengthening climate science and research related to agriculture, reorienting farm programs and finance towards conservation, and bolstering ecosystem service markets. By providing an iterative space where members can think creatively and learn from one another, Meridian has helped CFAD develop policy solutions that are stimulating discussion within the Executive Branch and Congress. CFAD has released recommendations on science and research, the formation of a National Climate Bank at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and guidance to improve the conservation delivery system. CFAD continues to promote bipartisan, science-based, and outcome-driven policies that support farm and forest manager participation in climate mitigation.