July 2022 Update: New England Feeding New England: Cultivating A Reliable Food Supply Project

After 9 months of focused effort, the 17 researchers working on foundational research to inform strategy development, investment, and policy recommendations that could lead to increasing consumption of food produced in the region to 30% by 2030, have completed their data collection and analysis and are starting to write up their findings. Over the last few months they have held 10 focus group sessions with key informants to inform the Production Milestone Team, including: beef and small livestock, annual crops, fruit, dairy, eggs and poultry, food manufacturing, aquaculture, production fisheries, fishery markets, and culturally relevant products for immigrant, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. An expert content review panel assessed our Resilient Eating Scenario assumptions and an Advisory Committee of regional food system experts tested our thinking over the course of 3 meetings. We are still on track to release our report sometime this coming Fall. Stay tuned!

Meeting with Ag Commissioners

On June 29, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts hosted a 2-hour meeting with his Commissioner counterparts in the other 5 New England states to receive a ‘sneak peek’ on what the data and analysis are pointing to regarding what it would take to achieve a goal of 30% New England regional food consumption from New England regional food production by 2030. Our three research Team Leads (Brian Donahue, Chris Peters, and Holly Fowler) provided high level findings from their teams’ research and answered questions from the Commissioners. The Commissioners then provided important insights and ground truthing and their feedback has been valuable as we begin writing the final report. We look forward to meeting with this group again in the Fall to share the final results from the Report.

Food Systems Resilience Focus Group

Planners from around New England joined a focus group to provide detailed feedback on the draft Food Systems Resilience Assessment Tool. The group discussed how to clarify the process a community would use to conduct this assessment, how to center equity in the process, and how to make the language inclusive and accessible to many groups. The team at Vermont Law School will continue to refine and build out the draft tool throughout the summer and fall.

Learn more about the project here