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Regional Alignment

New England is rich with food system change agents, organizations, and networks. FSNE is committed to complementing and strengthening existing and emerging efforts committed to a food system that works for everyone.

In addition to A New England Food Vision, the New England Food Policy report points towards some of the actions we could take if we choose to as a region. A growing number of organizations and networks are coalescing around shared values and vision and strengthening our collective impact. Below are just a few examples. What examples would you point to?

  • Farm to Institution New England (FINE) is a six-state collaboration working to strengthen our regional food system by increasing the demand for and use of New England food by New England institutions such as schools, government, corporations, hospitals, and colleges.
  • The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) has contributed unique capacity and insights to other state efforts based on its successful development of the Vermont Farm to Plate Strategic Plan and of a statewide network that is implementing the plan.
  • Food System Investors and Funders from across New England have coalesced over the past few years to share information and experience and explore collaboration and have joined the FSNE network.
  • The Agricultural Commissioners from the six New England states are connecting on a regular basis to explore challenges and opportunities that span our region. Their regional effort, Northeastern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA), has led to a coordinated vision and message, which they in turn are taking to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
  • Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) has convened annual regional food system conferences and working groups and engages in collaborative research projects, including a current collaboration with American Farmland Trust (AFT) and the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) on a two-year policy-mapping project that will enable all of us to see the opportunities and barriers to progress at a policy level in the New England region.
  • The Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) represents a broad collaborative of fishermen who live and work along the coastline of the New England states. Sustainable fishing will be critical to a resilient regional food system, and NAMA is one example of an organization that has built strong collaborative networks within its own community of producers and that is also working across the region to bring the voice of fishermen to food systems conversations.

 

Featured image of Saw Mill Site Farm horseradish production courtesy of Nico Lustig, Franklin County CDC's Western MA Food Processing Center