The New England Food Summits bring together delegates from across New England to strengthen collaboration for regional food system sustainability. These working summits are designed to build upon ongoing efforts across the region to build a more sustainable food system, and to consider regional priorities and action items that we can undertake most effectively together. Learn about past summits:
Food Solutions New England was pleased to host the 6th annual New England Food Summit at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, Connecticut, June 8-9, 2016. More than 190 delegates from across the region and across a diverse range of sectors were present. Building on the work of the previous Summits, this year’s gathering explored how we will work together to advance a New England Food Vision. Case studies and stories were presented showcasing innovative work already happening in our region, including efforts by the Real Food Challenge, Green Village Initiative, and New England fishermen, as well as policy interventions at multiple levels. Ten different breakout sessions were held on topics ranging from food waste and recovery and business, environmental nutrition and institutional procurement of local food, to worker justice and food policy. There were many opportunities for networking during meals, breaks, and small group discussions, and many participants remarked about the richness of interacting with so many people doing interesting work across the region.
The fifth annual New England Food Summit was held June 11-12, 2015 at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. The summit included a focus on racial equity in the food system, as well as the issue of fair price and what it might take to have economic justice across the food chain. There were 10 delegations to this year’s summit: six state delegations, an emerging leaders delegation, a funders delegation, a cross-cutting delegation made up of people working at the regional level and reflecting more diversity this year thanks to the participation of individuals invited by the Ambassador Team, and a new delegation of Food Chain Workers.
The fourth annual New England Food Summit was held June 12-13, 2014 at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The summit included a focus on urban and metropolitan food system issues, as well as the central place of food justice and racial equity in food system sustainability. Four delegations (over 150 participants) were in attendance: six state delegations, young professionals delegation (ages 19-29), food funders delegation, and a cross-cutting delegation of individuals working at the regional level.
The third annual New England Food Summit was held June 11-12, 2013 at the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service in Portland, Maine. Goals of the summit included developing a shared understanding of the purpose and value of the FSNE network and providing design input to ensure that the network adds tangible benefit to their individual and collective efforts at the local, state and regional levels; i dentifying collaborative and complementary actions within and across states that will promote more sustainable local, state and regional food systems; and d eveloping a shared understanding of how the New England Food Vision can be used as an aspirational vision and scenario tool to enhance food system work at all levels. Two delegations (about 125 participants) were in attendance: six state delegations and a cross-cutting delegation.
The University of Vermont and Food Solutions New England convened the 2nd annual New England Food Summit June 28-29th at the University of Vermont. As we left the first summit in 2011, we were charged with developing a bold vision for New England to build a sustainable regional food system. In concert with ongoing and emerging state food planning efforts, a series of collaborative workshops involving researchers and practitioners from across the region have responded to the charge with the New England Good Food Vision: a bold vision that calls for our region to build the capacity to produce up to 80% of clean, fair, just and accessible (good food) for all New Englanders by 2060. The vision includes a set of guiding assumptions and calculations that sketch a future in which diverse local and state food systems are supported by and in turn support a regional sustainable food system. The 2012 summit focused on providing an update on the New England Good Food Vision, including assumptions and calculations that enable New Englanders working in all sectors and states to envision a shared, regional, sustainable food system; providing briefings on statewide food system planning efforts in each of the New England states and discuss how these state-based efforts can inform and be informed by each other, and our regional vision; and learning about exciting regional projects already underway and find out how we might leverage these efforts to move towards the Good Food Vision. Six state delegations and one cross-cutting delegation participated (about 120 people).
The first annual New England Food Summit, held March 24-25, 2011 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, brought together stakeholders with the purpose of strengthening our common understanding of overall key trends and mutual awareness of efforts across the food system, with the goal of building collaborative strategies and action plans to build regional food system capacity and sustainability. The need to convene a summit of this nature has been expressed by a wide variety of stakeholders that recognize the importance of a coordinated, comprehensive response to building a sustainable food future. Goals of the summit included to: make the case for the economic, environmental and health benefits of a regional food system; stress the social justice aspects of building a strong regional food system/economy; capture best practices from each state; strengthen the regional perspective of all participants; and prioritize a list of regional strategies, or solutions, and identify key opportunities for collaboration. Six state delegations and one cross-cutting delegation participated (about 110 people).