CHARTING GROWTH: SUSTAINABLE FOOD INDICATORS
A growing number of organizations in the United States, supported by public and private funds, are trying to build food systems that simultaneously reap environmental, social and economic advantages for participants and the broader society. Yet articulating the parameters of such food systems so that we can measure their growth and build a stronger business case for them has not been done in a credible, rigorous way.
Charting Growth: Sustainable Food Indicators is designed to develop indicators for sustainable community-based food systems (SCBFS), and to use these indicators to assess their current strength in the US and their growth. The vision guiding this project was one of greater viability and number of food systems that provide access for all communities to a safe and healthy food supply, grown in a manner that protects the environment and adds social and economic value to rural and urban communities.
In this project, the Wallace Center partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Food and Society (FAS) Program, which has a long-standing interest in supporting the growth of SCBFS.
The Wallace Center’s goal for this project was to develop indicators used by diverse stakeholders to catalyze change and to measure progress towards community-based food systems that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.
This process included concretely defining SCBFS with input from diverse stakeholders, developing a credible and flexible set of indicators that can be used by different interests for various purposes, pilot-testing the indicators with partners in multiple supply chains, then using these indicators to create a baseline of the current strength of SCBFS in the US food system.
A Core Group of academic scholars and practitioners from around the country was assembled to meet regularly and communicate by telephone and e-mail. The group shared ideas about food system sustainability, developed an electronic interface to solicit engagement from stakeholders, organized and conducted additional meetings to solicit input and coordinating other project functions.
The Core Group included John Fisk, Wallace Center Director; Molly Anderson, Wallace Senior Fellow and Project Manager; Gail Feenstra, Food Systems Analyst, Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program at University of California Davis; and Michael Rozyne, Red Tomato Executive Director. Additional expertise was brought into the project as needed.
COUNTRY: United States
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