Plan Information

CategoryDatabase entry
Plan RegionNew England Region
Publication Date2014
Entry reviewed by original authorYes
PDF attachmentView Full Report
Plan TitleA New England Food Vision
Author(s)Food Solutions New England (FSNE), a six-state regional network supported and coordinated by the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute ( 
The Vision was written collectively by a group of university researchers and regional food system leaders under FSNE. These authors were: Brian Donahue, Joanne Burke, Molly Anderson, Amanda Beal, Tom Kelly, Mark Lapping, Hannah Ramer, Russell Libby, and Linda Berlin.
Author Type Network
Region Type Inter-state Region
Funding Sources Foundations; Individual Donors
FundersBaker Foundation, Tides Foundation, Kendall Foundation, John Merck Fund, 1772 Foundation, and the Claneil Foundation
Total Project BudgetUnspecified. Most of the authors served without direct compensation for their work, as the research was folded into their regular positions within their host institutions. Approximately $50,000 was spent on hiring a part-time research assistant, as well as designing and publishing the final document. 
Plan GoalsThe New England Food Vision is structured not as a plan, but as a vision for “what could happen if society were to commit to supporting sustainable food production in New England, improving New Englanders’ diets, and ensuring the right to healthy food for all” (p. 3).
The central goals of this vision is to understand New England’s current food system and to understand what would be necessary in order to increase regional food production to 50% of all residents’ food needs by 2060.
Intended AudienceNew England community members, government, policymakers
Plan Recommendation StructureThis document is not a plan in the normal sense, but a vision for New England’s food system with the central goal of increasing in-region production. As such, this project establishes a foundation for what New England’s food system looks like today with a very specific analysis of things such as diet, population, and crop diversity, etc. 
The recommendations are broken into two central themes (the goal and the implications):
The goal: Increase regional food production to reach 50% of all residents’ food needs by 2060. This includes an analysis of farmland acreage, what foods could and should be grown within New England (vegetables, fruit, dairy, meat, grains, etc.), and the role of sustainable seafood.
The implications and actions of reaching a regional food system:1. Environmental Sustainability;2. Socioeconomic Implications of a New England Food Vision;3. From Vision to Collective Action (“helping people learn how to grow, prepare, and enjoy healthy food within a broad range of tastes and traditions, while embracing practices that keep future generations in mind” (p. 33), i.e. recommendation to reach the central goals of this vision): a) Access to food/right to food, b) healthy diets, sustainable farming and fishing, c) Changing food policy, d) Keeping a food system framework in mind, and e) Thinking about network collaboration and collective impact.
Catalyst for PlanFrom Joanne Burke, Food Solutions New England:
“When we held our first Food Solutions New England regional meeting in 2011, we agreed we were ‘Better Together’ to devise a regional vision for what we wanted NE to be striving for as we worked on an aspirational, yet grounded, approach to support regional, sustainable, and accessible food production. At the initial meeting, Vermont shared their statewide plan, [… which] demonstrated how food systems could be used in part as economic engines in states as they worked on food system plans.
“In 2011, we committed, in theory, to developing the six-state strategy, which eventually was called A New England Food Vision. The very process encouraged each of the other five NE States [… to] develop a food system plan/strategy for each of their own respective states. By 2014 we did issue the regional A New England FOOD Vision, after a highly iterative process involving many individuals and organizations throughout the development process.”
Creation ProcessThe creation process of this plan is largely unspecified within the document. However, it was written collectively with a number of university researchers and regional food systems leaders.
FSNE is currently in the process of updating the vision ( and is actively seeking participation in networking, creating “issue briefs,” and developing a stronger participatory process. 
Theoretical Framework(s) Employed  Collective Impact Framework
Theoretical Framework(s): Additional LiteratureUnspecified
Development Timeline3+ years
Implementation StrategyImplementations include broad suggestions for policy changes and programs/initiatives, along with continued research and process updates on reaching their goals. A briefing on “putting the vision to work” is attached.
Over the course of its 3-year development, the evolving vision figured prominently in a series of regional and state summits, briefings, network design meetings, and workshops that provided important feedback and built strong connections across FSNE and other networks committed to ensuring an accessible and sustainable food system.
FSNE is currently in the process of updating the vision (  to reach 30% local production by 2030.
Implementation Timeline50 years (2060)
Evaluation StrategyUnspecified
International Development Framework(s)None
Current Plan StatusActive; Update in progress
Government Adoption StatusNot Adopted
Government Adoption Status (Notes)
Supplemental Documents View Supplemental Documents