Food Policy Councils 101

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This PolicyLink presentation goes over the basics of food policy councils: what they are, how they function, what they're good at, and what's challenging for them.

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Food Policy Councils 101

  1. 1. Food Policy Councils 101Structures and strategies for building healthy food systemsPolicyLink WebinarMarch 20, 2013LINDSEY DAY FARNSWORTHUNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISONLDFARNSWORTH@WISC.EDUCOMMUNITY & REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS PROJECTWWW.COMMUNITY-FOOD.ORGUW CENTER FOR INTEGRATED AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMSWWW.CIAS.WISC.EDU
  2. 2. CRFS Project Overview• Five year project funded by USDA-NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture)• Central research question: What are the characteristics and functions of a healthy community and regional food system and how do they contribute to increased community food security? Production: Urban and peri-urban agriculture Distribution: Corner store conversions, institutional purchasing policies Consumption: Healthy grocery store initiatives, Local marketing projects Disposal: composting projects• Research, education, outreach, and advocacy www.community-food.org
  3. 3. Outreach Research • Growing Power • Characterize complexEducation Workshops and trainings urban food systems• PEOPLE program • University Extension • Community-based Peer network participatory research• College internships Train-the-trainer• Graduate practicums curriculum Project evaluation and community assessment www.community-food.org
  4. 4. UW-Madison Community & Regional Food Systems Project FrameworkSource: UW-Madison Community and Regional Food Systems Project V.4 working draftwww.community-food.org
  5. 5. Why food policy councils?Food policy councils have the potential to:• Help build community and regional food systems that are accountable to all by being healthy, affordable, fair and sustainable• Create opportunities for residents and community-based organizations to influence food policy• Increase coordination across agencies and organizations that influence policy on food production, accessibility, affordability, and quality • Foster new relationships • Align policies & departments • Bring a systems view to complex issues
  6. 6. Influencing municipal food policy and regulationPOLICY Land use Economic Licensing & Programs & controls development regulation servicesCOMPONENT incentivesProduction Urban Agriculture Local food Permit on-site Vegetable ordinances procurement produce sales at gardening classes policies market gardens & resourcesProcessing Industrial Agricultural Promote laws Provide cooking & retention via processing permitting limited food preservation zoning & renaissance zones sales of home- classes comprehensive processed foods planningDistribution Flexible zoning USDA “geographic Grocery store Establish farmers’ for grocery stores preference” option attraction incentives markets on city- in under-served increases local owned land areas food in schoolsConsumption Long-term leases CDBG funding to Streamline licensing EBT machines for for community increase produce at requirements for WIC/SNAP at gardens corners stores farm markets & farmers’ markets produce cartsResources & Align Mandatory Separate ag and MunicipalWaste state/municipal recycling and solid waste regs/ household composting land composting permitting compostingManagement use regulations requirements program
  7. 7. What is a food policy council? Food Policy Councils (FPCs) bring together stakeholders from diverse food-related sectors to examine how the food system is operating and to develop recommendations on how to improve it. • They often include anti-hunger and food justice advocates, educators, non-profit organizations, concerned citizens, government officials, farmers, grocers, chefs, workers, food processors, and food distributors. • By bringing diverse sectors together food policy councils create unique opportunities for discussion and strategy development and create an arena for evaluating the food system as a whole.Sources: Community Food Security Coalition http://www.foodsecurity.org/FPC/Harper et al. 2009. “Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned”. http://www.foodfirst.org/en/foodpolicycouncils-lessons
  8. 8. Food Policy Council Function“Catalyze, Coordinate, Connect” (and Capacity-building!)• Initiate or support programs (catalyze & capacity-building) The LA Food Policy Council and the Good Food Purchasing Policy• Foster coordination between sectors (coordinate) The Dane County Food Council and the Food Pantry Garden Project• Serve as forum for food systems issues (connect) The most common and basic function of food policy councils• Influence or evaluate food policy Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council & the Chicago Urban Agriculture OrdinanceSources: Harper et al. 2009. “Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned”.http://www.foodfirst.org/en/foodpolicycouncils-lessonsLA Food Policy Council organizing principles: “Catalyze, Coordinate, Connect”
  9. 9. Food Policy Council StructureFPC structure is often related to how a particular council is formed: • Legislation A 2009 study found that “the vast • Executive Order majority of food policy councils • Grassroots organizing have either no staff at all or one • Project of a non-profit part-time staff person, relying instead on volunteers or on restricted amounts of staff timeConsiderations: from city, county or state employees • Relationship to government assigned to the council in addition • Appointed vs. open membership to their usual duties.” • How will the work get done? • Staff capacity • Community engagement • How will we ensure accountability and inclusiveness?Source: Harper et al. 2009. “Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned”.http://www.foodfirst.org/en/foodpolicycouncils-lessons
  10. 10. Food Policy Council Challenges• Designing effective council structures• Achieving and engaging diverse membership and constituencies• Balancing diverse priorities • long and short term goals • policy & programmatic work• Measuring and evaluating impact• Obtaining adequate funding• Working in complex political climatesSource: Harper et al. 2009. “Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned”.http://www.foodfirst.org/en/foodpolicycouncils-lessons
  11. 11. Food Policy Council SuccessesExamples:• New Mexico Food & Agriculture Policy Council Expanded funding for farm to school and MNSU Extension support for tribal nations; stopped the sale of sugary soft drinks in schools• New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Council Helped create the Fresh Food Retailer Initiative, which leverages public and private financing to provide low-interest and forgivable loans for food retailers who commit to sell fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods.• Muscogee (Creek) Nation Food and Fitness Policy Council Initiated new procurement policies that will help tribal groups by more locally grown fruits and vegetables• Dane County Food Council Worked with Community Action Coalition of Southern Wisconsin and Dane County Parks and Conservation to shift county conservation land leased for commodity crop production to vegetable production for area food pantriesSource: Burgan and Winne. 2012. “Doing Food Policy Councils Right: A Guide to Action”. p. 8http://www.markwinne.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/FPC-manual.pdf
  12. 12. Food Policy Council ResourcesFood Policy Councils: Lessons Learned (2009)http://www.foodfirst.org/en/foodpolicycouncils-lessonsDoing Food Policy Councils Right: A Guide to Development and Action (September 2012)http://www.markwinne.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/FPC-manual.pdfGood Laws, Good Food: Putting Local Food Policy to Work for our Communities (July 2012)http://www.markwinne.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/food-toolkit-local.pdfGood Laws, Good Food: Putting State Food Policy to Work for our Communities (Nov 2012)http://www.markwinne.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/food-toolkit-2012.pdfOrganizational Documents Designed for Food Policy Councils (November 2011)http://www.foodfirst.org/en/food+policy+councilThe Community Food Security Coalitions North American Food Policy Council Webpagehttp://www.foodsecurity.org/FPC/List of Food Policy Councils in North America (May 2012)http://www.markwinne.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/fp-councils-may-2012.pdf

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