Gill Tract is the last remaining 10 acres of Class I agricultural soil in the urbanized East Bay area. For decades the UC has thwarted attempts by community members to transform the site for urban sustainable agriculture and hands-on education. Occupy the Farm, a coalition of local residents, farmers, students, researchers, and activists are planting over 15,000 seedlings at the Gill Tract and they are working to empower communities to control their own resilient food systems for a stable and just future – a concept and practice known as food sovereignty.
If Whole Foods is truly "intimately tied to the neighborhood and larger community that we serve and in which we live" and "supporting sustainable agriculture" as they state on their website, then they cannot claim innocence in this situation and they are indeed culpable for the long-term impacts of their commercial development if it results in a domino effect that impacts the future of the neighboring Gill Tract.
Currently Whole Foods has considerable power and leverage in the future of how UC Berkeley uses this land and they should use their power for the good of the community if they really stand by the above quotes taken from their website.
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