Food Systems Plans & Charters: A Landscape Analysis

Toolkit Overview

This toolkit provides a centralized synthesis of 25 state- and city-level food systems plans and charters from across the United States. Born out of a project to inform food systems planning in Hawai’i with support from the Center for Sustainable Community Food Systems at the University of Hawai’i’ West O’ahu Tthese resources are intended to help future food systems transformation efforts organize their initiatives and envision change. To do so, our databases and analyses focus on the how and what of food systems planning efforts across the country.

What This Toolkit Is

This toolkit is meant to inform the process of creating food system plans and charters. We also hope that it will illustrate the broader landscape of food system planning and be a helpful resource for those interested in developing new approaches to persistent food system issues.

This toolkit is not a comprehensive analysis of all food system plans and charters in the United States, nor is it a catalog of codified food policies. Importantly, this toolkit is not meant to be prescriptive or establish “best practices.”

Our multi-step process included interviews, desk research, and a robust feedback process. Learn more about our methodology.

Our toolkit is intended to supplement the existing and growing body of resources available to food systems planning efforts. Explore these other resources for more information:

Explore The Toolkit

Plan Scope & Content Insights:

Recommendation Database

Search recommendations across 25 plans and charters. Use our searchable keywords to find plan tactics across over 80 topic areas.

Recommendation Analysis

What do plans and charters recommend? Understand the scope and content of food system plans’ recommendations and strategies. We provide definitions and examples of 16 “Key Planning Elements.”

Planning & Process Insights

Catalog of Food Systems Plans and Charters

A database of state-level food systems plans and charters – as well as 5 city- and county-level plans – that provides summaries of plan content and creation. Use the database to explore each plan and charter.

Process Analysis

How are plans and charters developed? Drawing from plans, research, and interviews, we offer insights into the pre-conditions and creation strategies of effective food planning efforts.

A Note On Language: Plans & Charters

“Plans,” “charters,” “visions,” “agendas,” “roadmaps”: The documents analyzed in this database call themselves by different names, but each seeks to offer whole-system strategies to transform local and regional food systems within their own unique contexts. Recognizing that a “plan” can describe a more technical process, we use “plan and charter” throughout our research to encapsulate the breadth and variety of these documents. Read more about our methodology to understand how we chose which documents to analyze.

Interactive Map of Reviewed Plans & Charters