On Eve of Tower Bridge Dinner, Debate Builds about Sponsors

SACRAMENTO — This year’s Tower Bridge dinner on Sunday will spotlight the reciprocal relationship between chefs and farmers, as the community celebrates its self-awarded title of “America’s Farm to Fork Capital.”

But as Sacramento gears up for the Sept. 25 gala, other denizens of the local food industry have raised concerns about the fundraising efforts by Visit Sacramento, the Farm-to-Fork Festival organizer. The issue is whether global corporations, namely McDonald’s Corp., should be allowed to bankroll the event through sponsorships.

“You have to be very careful when you start allowing McDonald’s to use that label when they are anything but” farm-to-fork, said Steve Maviglio, a Democratic strategist and board member of the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op.

Maviglio, along with past co-op board president Michelle Basso Reynolds, wrote in a Sept. 8 guest opinion in the Sacramento Bee that the list of Tower Bridge dinner sponsors shows that farm-to-fork is being “exploited for commercial purposes.” Cadillac is the presenting sponsor of the event.

Click here to continue reading Allen Young’s story in the Sacramento Business Journal.