Innovations in Community & Regional Food Systems

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Presentation about the Community and Regional Food Systems project given at the 2013 Wisconsin Local Food summit.

Included is an overview of the project, discussion of the food system framework we're creating, examples from our community engagement projects (carrots to schools, lead contamination, food policy council evaluation, healthy corner stores), and a review of our project's values and outcomes (just, healthy, place-based, prosperous, and sustainable).

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  • Steve and Samuel:Please look this over. I think that - Tools & metrics for evaluationThemes: collective impact; food sovereignty/food justice; University-Community relationsWere mentioned in our abstract, but we really don’t discuss them. Should we make time for this?
  • The Framework is a descriptive tool to characterize community-based, local, and regional food systems. I’ll present the framework in two parts. Part One: The first circular diagram describes what is involved in a food system, and the social and economic environment in which the food system operates. Our goal in presenting a descriptive framework is to identify common language to talk about what important components of the food system are, and what environmental factors should be considered when working on building sustainable, just and equitable food systems.
  • The supply chain is useful in understanding the various systems level components that are necessary to get food from field to plate. Not all the steps are necessary. For example, direct farm to consumer sales may skip several steps (aggregation, food processing) Many food system advocates and businesses utilize a diagram of the supply chain to indicate the various components that are involved. There are variations in how these are depicted. We’ve added a few categories that are important in urban agricultural systems: ‘land access & suitability’ and ‘resource & waste recovery’ (composting, vermiculture, water conservation). The category ‘distribution and aggregation’ is a broad one, that includes transportation from production to aggregation or processing, and from aggregation/processing to marketing. We use the term ‘distribution’ to capture transportation. Aggregation captures innovative work happening with food hubs, produce auctions, and other cooperative models to aggregate supply.
  • The supply chain is an important descriptive tool, but it misses important structures that influence/affect the actual workings of various enterprises and structures.These categories capture what could be called the ‘food system environment’ (or endogenous environment): these categories capture the workings of the economic, social, and cultural arenas. For each aspect of the food system supply chain, there is an overlapping relationship with these aspects of the food system environment. The food system environment presents conditions (opportunities, barriers, and cultural context) that affect food system activities. These are not immutable structures, but are culturally determined and often very fixed. Take, for example, economic structures and policies in a profit driven economy: the rules of these structures drive competition and present barriers to entry for enterprises that operate on other, alternative premises. Similarly, food and agricultural policy impacts food system practices – either by the design of the policy or the absence of a policy. A social change goal for many food systems organizations is to change these structures in ways that would be more just, equitable, and sustainable. ** Important note: “Food & Agriculture Education” should be “Food & Nutrition Education” (or maybe, ‘food, nutrition, and agriculture education’)
  • Notes:1) This framework is a re-thinking and reformulation of the draft framework prepared by Ventura, 2010, as presented in the AFRI grant application2) The framework also borrows from conceptualizations presented by the C.S. Mott Group at Michigan State University and Virginia State Cooperative Extension, in “A Community-Based Food System: Building Health, Wealth, Connection, and Capacity as the Foundation of Our Economic Future” Bedfeldt, E.S., M. Walker, T. Bunn, L. Martin, and M. Barrow. May 2011. 3) This version adds “Management, Labor, & Business Models” (previous version had 6 components in the social/economic environment ring) This framework differs from the C.S. Mott Group framework in three primary ways:We’ve added two components to the internal circle (food system supply chain): “land access & suitability” & “Resource & Waste Recovery”The middle ring (blue ring) – in our framework – represents the food system environment (endogenous environment) that influences what is possible in food system activities, but which is also malleable and can be changed as a result of activities in the inner circle. Thus, CRFS supply chain activities represents active agency to modify societal structures that are perceived as unsustainable, inequitable, or unjust. However, changing societal institutions is hard work – and it could be argued that these changes might be piecemeal and insubstantial in the absence of strong social change movements.The inner ring and outer ring correspond in all aspects – each aspect of the supply chain influences and is influenced by each aspect of the food system environment for example, agricultural production overlays economic and pricing structures, enterprise finances, organizational structures, and so on. The inner circle can be turned like a dial to show correspondences.Note that the Michigan and Virginia frameworks have a different ‘middle ring’ which reflects potential benefits of community-based food systems (this is the common way of portraying the relationships – it is also found in the Detroit image and KYF2 image. We integrate these ‘values’ components into an evaluative structure and process, rather than in the descriptive framework. Update NOTE: Blue ring will be changed as such:This version has: (1) Organizational Structures & Relations; (2) Management, Labor & Business ModelsWill be updated to: (1) Business Models & Organizational Structures; (2) Labor, Management & Entrepreneurship (which can then include NCCEA’s ‘catalysts for change/community leadership’ category)
  • An example of how the food system supply chain overlays the food system environment (societal structures).You can use the framework to situate your own projects, issues, or interventions. You can also use the framework to analyze the food system of a community or region, and to identify areas where there are gaps in the development of the system. This slice might be used to describe work that addresses the economics of local agriculture production. For example, there are challenges for small and medium scale growers to sell food at a price that is affordable to people on fixed or limited incomes. Additionally, it may be difficult for growers to provide healthy food items for schools, hospitals, and other institutions at a price that is within that institution’s budget. This
  • The descriptive framework can be connected to a values framework, which is more ‘prescriptive’ in determining the types of work that activists, advocates, and entrepreneurs are involved with. We will talk more about this part of the framework in ‘part two’. Values are personal – we can’t determine the values that are important for any actor or entity in the food system. What is presented here is one conception of driving values – these are the values that most often emerge from ‘values statements’ of food system organizations. They are also similar to the values identified in the Community Food Security Coalition’s “Whole Measures for Community Food Systems: Values-based planning and evaluation” . ‘Place-based’ was suggested by the Wisconsin Food Systems team, and allows for outcome objectives such as community economic development, social capital, community connections, etc.It doesn’t really matter if there are 3, or 4 or 5 or 6 values articulated. What is important is that values drive community, local, and regional food system work. Some organizations/academics use the term ‘values-based food systems’ to differentiate what we are building from a ‘profit-driven food system’. Values are directly related to community benefits.
  • Placing our CEPs into the framework. How examples can help to understand the descriptive frameworkMadison, Gardens for Empowerment (Samuel)Los Angeles Food Policy Council Good Food Procurement Project: Evaluation methodology (Samuel) Distribution & Aggregation Economic & Pricing Structures; Capital & Finance: Agriculture & Food PolicyLead in Urban Environments (Steve) Land access & suitability; Agricultural production Food & Agriculture education; community & cultural relations; agriculture & food policyCarrots to Schools (Steve) Agricultural Production; Distribution & Aggregation; Food Processing Economic & Pricing StructuresSouth Side Milwaukee Healthy Food Access Collaboration (Sharon) Marketing; Preparation; Consumption Community & Cultural Relations; Food & Agriculture Education
  • South Side Milwaukee Healthy Food Access Collaboration (Sharon) Marketing; Preparation; Consumption Community & Cultural Relations; Food & Nutrition Education
  • Break into small groups to discuss:Where do your own projects fall in the framework?What is missing from the framework?How might you use a framework such as this?
  • Descriptive framework is fine, but most of food work that we do comes from a values framework, and is explicitly designed to meet a variety of outcome goals.
  • Values correspond to ‘food system benefits’ = community benefitsThese are just examples of some benefits. Those planning activities will pick what outcome benefits they are working towardThe ‘Outcomes’ specified (with check marks) are a few examples of community vision/outcome objectives. Each project, organization, or community-based food system should be able to identify the values that drive it and the outcome objectives desired.
  • Values correspond to ‘food system benefits’ = community benefitsThese are just examples of some benefits. Those planning activities will pick what outcome benefits they are working toward
  • Values correspond to ‘food system benefits’ = community benefitsThese are just examples of some benefits. Those planning activities will pick what outcome benefits they are working toward
  • Values correspond to ‘food system benefits’ = community benefitsThese are just examples of some benefits. Those planning activities will pick what outcome benefits they are working toward
  • Values correspond to ‘food system benefits’ = community benefitsThese are just examples of some benefits. Those planning activities will pick what outcome benefits they are working toward
  • Note: the arrows in the diagram are wrong – will need to be removed. This diagram is not a dial; it is kind of static, with community benefits (outcomes; or in our project’s lingo, ‘food system benefits’) corresponding directly to the values.
  • How does your work relate to these values?How do you observe or measure aspects of these valuesOperative definition of each valueWhat does it mean to you?Measurement/Indicators
  • Values drive activities. Activities accomplish outcome objectives. Imagine the values circle moving, and propelling the chain, which then drives actions along the food system supply chain (you could even label the bottom line of the chain as ‘activities’). As new enterprises/structures/ways of doing business are created in the food system, this then moves the whole values wheel (internal values circle and community benefits) in such a way as to realize localized benefits (you could label the top line ‘outcomes’). ** How does this then impact the ‘endogenous’ environment?Social Change: In order for food systems work to achieve social change, the structures of the endogenous environment have to be changed (to reflect the values that drive them) as a result of the activities. How does this happen? Either by many movement organizations/structures working independently and in conjunction with each other (builder/weaver efforts), or through mass movements of society pushing for change through mobilization (warrior efforts) = note that ‘endogenous environment’ is fixed in place, while the food system supply chain rotates. This ‘fixedness’ can move if community benefits are deep enough, and extensive enough to facilitate system change. The goal is not maintaining the status quo, but rather changing the status quo.
  • Values ‘drive’ community-based food system activities (in a strategic plan, this might represent a vision and values statement; note that there really isn’t a place for values in a logic model).Values drive the work that an individual, organization, or business entity chooses to undertake in a particular sector. Note that this diagram starts to correspond to the logic model (or strategic planning) at this point. Values drive activities (strategies) – using inputs – to achieve desired outcomes (community benefits); with the long term outcome objectives being changes in the endogenous environment (social change). You get a lot of these efforts going and you’ve got a social movement of sorts (focusing on incremental change through building the alternative structures, rather than through protest activities).
  • Innovations in Community & Regional Food Systems

    1. 1. Innovations in Community & Regional Food Systems Steve Ventura Sharon Lezberg Samuel Pratsch WI Local Food Summit, Feb. 1, 2013
    2. 2. Presentation Outline • Overview of the Project • Community Food System Framework – Part One: Descriptive Framework – Innovations: Community Engagement Projects – Small group discussion of food system projects – Part Two: Values and Outcomes – Group Exercise: Walk About (add comments to sheets) • Tools & metrics for evaluation • Themes: collective impact; food sovereignty/food justice; University-Community relations
    3. 3. Evaluating Innovation and Promoting Success in Community and Regional Food Systems Research, education, and outreach to address food security in urban areas
    4. 4. Supported by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture USDA Award 2011-68004-30044 A collaboration of University of Wisconsin-Madison Growing Power University of Wisconsin-Extension Michael Fields Agricultural Institute Wayne State University and numerous community partners
    5. 5. USDA’s Goal: Food Security “Food Insecurity in Milwaukee County” Milwaukee County Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program, 2009 Socioeconomic factors put Milwaukee County residents at a greater risk of poor nutritional status than the state as a whole… 26.2 % of Milwaukee residents were poor in 2006, a 4.7 percent increase from 2000. Regarding Milwaukee’s children, 38.5 percent of Milwaukee’s children live in poverty as compared to 14 percent of Wisconsin’s children. In Search of a Hunger-Free Community, a publication by Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, Feb. 2006 reveals that Milwaukee ranks fourth nationally for child poverty. Food insecurity remains a problem for many families. Despite reports of frequent emergency food use, food pantry and meal site users reported skipping and cutting the size of meals on a monthly basis.
    6. 6. USDA’s Goal: Food Security “Food Insecurity in Milwaukee County” Milwaukee County Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program, 2009 Socioeconomic factors put Milwaukee County residents at a greater risk of poor nutritional status than the state as a whole… 26.2 % of Milwaukee residents were poor in 2006, a 4.7 percent increase from 2000. Regarding Milwaukee’s children, 38.5 percent of Milwaukee’s children live in poverty as compared to 14 percent of Wisconsin’s children. In Search of a Hunger-Free Community, a publication by Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, Feb. 2006 reveals that Milwaukee ranks fourth nationally for child poverty. Food insecurity remains a problem for many families. Despite reports of frequent emergency food use, food pantry and meal site users reported skipping and cutting the size of meals on a monthly basis.
    7. 7. Our lenses on food security: • Community and regional food systems • Urban agriculture • Food justice • Collective impact • University- Community relations The “Good Food Revolution”
    8. 8. Project Components • Education – high school: PEOPLE program – college: internships – graduate: practicums • Outreach – training – products – community engagement • Research – city studies – community-based research • community engagement projects • innovation fund projects – CRFS framework
    9. 9. Project Components • Education – high school: PEOPLE program – college: internships – graduate: practicums • Outreach – training – products – community engagement • Research – city studies – community-based research • community engagement projects • innovation fund projects – CRFS framework
    10. 10. Why we start with a framework: • A tool for understanding the dynamics of community-based food systems – Descriptive graphic – Values/outcomes graphic – Graphical representation of relationships • A means to establish common language • A tool to structure program planning and evaluation
    11. 11. Why we start with a framework:
    12. 12. Food System Supply Chain
    13. 13. What’s missing?
    14. 14. Food System Framework
    15. 15. A slice of the food system
    16. 16. Values Framework
    17. 17. Examples from our Community Engagement Projects Madison, Gardens for Empowerment Los Angeles Food Policy Council Good Food Procurement Project: Evaluation methodology Lead in Urban Environments Carrots to Schools South Side Milwaukee Healthy Food Access Collaboration
    18. 18. Gardens for Empowerment
    19. 19. Gardens for Empowerment
    20. 20. Los Angeles Food Policy Council Good Food Procurement Project
    21. 21. Lead in Urban Environments • Collaboration: - Medical College of Wisconsin - 16th Street Health Clinic - Walnut Way • Help residents with back yard gardens - Support - Benefits - Risks
    22. 22. Lead in Urban Environments - Risks: information and recommendations for gardeners
    23. 23. Carrots to Schools • Collaboration: - Growing Power - Milwaukee Public Schools • Provide locally grown carrots - affordable to MPS - profitable for grower - yummy for kids
    24. 24. Southside Milwaukee Healthy Food Access Collaboration
    25. 25. Small Group Discussion • Where do your projects fall on the descriptive framework that we are using? • What is missing from this framework? • How might you use the framework in your project, organization, or community?
    26. 26. Values and Outcomes The Natural Step: using backcasting as a way of planning for sustainable development. Ask the questions: “What is a successful outcome? What do we need to do today to reach that successful outcome?”
    27. 27. Evaluation of values-based outcomes Values-based Fields of Practice • Justice and Fairness • Strong Communities • Vibrant Farms • Healthy People • Sustainable Ecosystems • Thriving Local Economies
    28. 28. Values and Food System Benefits (Community Goals or Outcomes) Just  Increases access to healthy food  Reduces hunger and food insecurity  Promotes justice for farmers & food system workers  Increases racial and gender equity  Builds community capacity  Promotes participation and Inclusivity  Encourages food self- provisioning and/or sovereignty
    29. 29. Values and Food System Benefits (Community Goals or Outcomes) Healthy  Provides healthy food for all  Ensures health and well-being  Promotes fresh foods and culinary skills  Assures healthy food at public venues, such as schools and hospitals  Provides opportunities for physical activity and exercise
    30. 30. Values and Food System Benefits (Community Goals or Outcomes) Sustainable  Enhances ecosystem functioning  Assures clean, adequate water supply  Builds healthy soils  Enhances biodiversity  Assures farmland protection  Promotes nutrient & waste recycling  Promotes energy conservation or production  Mitigates climate change
    31. 31. Values and Food System Benefits (Community Goals or Outcomes) Prosperous  Supports economically viable family farms  Expands urban agriculture capacity  Creates jobs and locally owned food enterprises  Promotes Increased sales of local food products  Recirculates capital locally & regionally
    32. 32. Values and Food System Benefits (Community Goals or Outcomes) Place-based Builds community social cohesion Revitalizes neighborhoods Provides opportunities for leadership development Contributes to education & empowerment Encourages citizen engagement in food system activities Cultivates youth knowledge and skills Connects families and youth to farms and food enterprises Promotes the culture of a place and of agriculture through arts and celebration
    33. 33. The correspondence between values and outcomes
    34. 34. Group Exercise • What values or outcome objectives drive your own work? • Walk around to where the sheets are hanging; are there outcomes that are missing? (please add these) • What indicators or measurements would you use to evaluate success at reaching the outcomes indicated?
    35. 35. The relationship between values/outcomes wheel and the food system descriptive framework
    36. 36. Relationship of values/outcomes to the descriptive food system framework • Values drive strategies or activities of an organization or enterprise within the food system supply chain • Activities are designed to accomplish specific outcomes or community benefits • Activities can be evaluated by whether they meet community goals & outcome objectives
    37. 37. Web-site: http://www.community-food.org/ Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crfsproject Contact us Steve Ventura: sventura@wisc.edu Sharon Lezberg: slezberg@wisc.edu Samuel Pratsch: samuel.pratsch@ces.uwex.edu

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