NESAWG works on a range of initiatives to strengthen our region’s food system. These include community-based food systems, rural development, urban agriculture, cooperatives, supply chain and market development, value-added production, processing, farm lending, new farmer development, farm business development and innovation.
A vibrant and viable food system in New England requires a supportive public policy environment. For this reason, the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group is teaming up with American Farmland Trust and the Conservation Law Foundation to identify the policy levers that will support improved farm profitability, expanded food production and the agricultural infrastructure needed to improve regional food resiliency. Drawing upon expertise and experience of leaders and practitioners across New England, this two-year project will focus on federal, state and regional policy arenas, analyzing policy barriers and gaps in five key areas and recommending where change is most needed, at what level and scale, and what kinds of advocacy might be most effective. The project began in 2012 and will go through 2014. Read the one-pager.
As a Regional Lead Team of the National Good Food Network, NESAWG conducted a study of 36 regionally focused food value chains. As part of the Northeast Sustainable Traders, we hosted two work sessions for alternative supply chain leaders from throughout the Northeast.
NESAWG co-led a project with CISA to get more “good food” into mainstream markets for under-served communities in western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Our report includes many examples of similar ventures across the nation, as well as an exploration of supply chain challenges.
NESAWG and partners produced a report (NESAWG-Understand-FoodSafety-Regs.pdf) and educational slide show (NESAWG-Understand-FoodSafety-Regs.ppt) about farm-direct marketing regulations in CT, MA, NY and VT.
In collaboration with several organizations, NESAWG produced a feasibility study with business scenarios for a state-wide buy local program for Connecticut. It contains information valuable to other groups considering similar programs.