Plan Overview

1. ENGAGE Decision Makers in Strategic Food-Systems Planning and Implementation1.1. Establish and implement a statewide food policy advisory council.
1.2. Establish local and/or regional food policy councils.
1.3. Develop statewide food-systems procurement goals and baseline assessments.
Network/Bodies/Council (FPCs); Regional Collaboration; Assessment & Evaluation; Good/Local Food Economies; Public Procurement; Good Food Governance; Food System Coordination; Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning;

2. COORDINATE Food-Systems Policies and Regulations
2.1. Appoint a state-level food-systems ombudsman. Good Food Governance; Leadership/Staffing; Food System Coordination; Legislation

3. GROW New and Transitioning Farmers and Secure Prime Farmland

3.1. Dedicate permanent and significant funding for the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund
3.2. Amend tax policies to create incentives for farmers and revenue for local governments.
3.3. Provide risk-management and disaster-assistance programs for farmers to close gaps in coverage.
3.4. Fund programs to conduct farmer health care education and outreach.
3.5. Expand and provide greater support for farmer training and mentorship programs through N.C. Cooperative Extension.
Agriculture & Food Production; Farm & Producer Business Support; Training & Education, Agriculture; Workforce Development; Land Access; Preserving Farmland; Financing/Affordability, Land; Good/Local Food Economies; Emergency Response; Good Food Governance; Funding & Investment Strategies; Legislation

4. EXPAND Local Market Opportunities

4.1. Help network direct-marketing initiatives statewide.
4.2. Establish goals for state procurement of local food.
4.3. Develop a model farm-to-institution program that addresses barriers to procurement for institutional markets.
4.4. Conduct an assessment of local food-system infrastructure needs.
4.5. Invest in business planning and management support for local food and farming enterprises.
4.6. Provide “patient capital” to food and farming enterprises.
4.7. Expand local-food job training opportunities.
4.8. Adopt legislation to support contract fairness for producers.
4.9. Advocate at the federal level to support small-scale, diversified farmers in the adoption of food-safety protocols.
Good/Local Food Economies; Public Procurement; Small Business Support; Regional Coordination; Workforce Development; Training & Education, General; Good Food Governance; Advocacy; Food System Coordination; Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning; Legislation; Food Safety; Agriculture & Food Production

5. CULTIVATE Community Gardens Statewide
5.1. Fund a statewide coordinator and other activities of the N.C. Community Garden Partners (NCCGP). Good Food Governance; Leadership/Staffing; Food System Coordination; Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning; Community Food Growing; Food Sovereignty

6. STRENGTHEN Local Government Initiatives
6.1 Formalize policies that dedicate vacant land to promote
farm, garden, market and infrastructure development.
6.2. Develop a county agricultural economic development and farmland protection plan.
6.3. Employ agricultural economic and food-systems development staff.
6.4. Invest in needed processing and other food-systems infrastructure.
6.5. Address land-use and zoning ordinances.
6.6. Purchase conservation easements to protect farmland.
6.7. Promote local food system businesses and special events.
6.8. Buy locally produced and locally processed food.
Good Food Governance; Legislation; Leadership/Staffing; Funding & Investment Strategies; Supply Chain Infrastructure; Food System Coordination; Workforce Development; Good/Local Food Economies; Local Brand Promotion; Supply Chain Infrastructure; Land Access; Preserving Farmland; Farmland Zoning & Regulations; Good/Local Food Economies; Local brand promotion; Conservation & Land Management; Land & Resource Use; Culture Shift (Good Food Movement)

7. ADDRESS Public Health and Food Access Disparities
7.1. Expand and strengthen North Carolina’s SNAP-Ed Programming.
7.2. Support and expand EBT use at direct-market venues.
7.3. Coordinate and enhance statewide emergency food distribution opportunities.
7.4. Coordinate existing nutrition education programs.
Nutrition & Health; Food & Nutrition Literacy; Food Availability (retailers); Food & Income Assistance (SNAP, WIC, etc.); Emergency Response; Culture Shift (Good Food Movement); Training & Education, General; Food Security
8. INCREASE Consumer Education and Outreach8.1. Launch an “Eat 10% Local, Sustainable Food” Campaign. Culture Shift (Good Food Movement); Public Messaging & Marketing; Food & Nutrition Literacy; Nutrition & Health

9. PROMOTE Farm-to-School Programming and Engage Youth
9.1. Develop a model farm-to-school pre-service teacher instruction program.
9.2. Develop a teen-focused social network around food systems.
9.3. Expand 4-H curriculum to include a focus on sustainable food systems.
9.4. Support youth leadership development.
Culture Shift (Good Food Movement); Training & Education, General; School Curricula; Nutrition & Health; Food & Nutrition Literacy; Food in Schools;

Things you can do to make a difference
1. Cook with fresh, seasonal, local foods.
2. Buy from your local farmers and food businesses.
3. Start your own or participate in a community garden.
4. Advocate for healthy foods at your child’s school or day care.
5. Organize a farmers’ market, Community-Supported Agriculture program (CSA) or food-buying club.
6. Build food-system relationships.
7. Promote transparency in packaged foods.
8. Support the development of community farm and garden trusts.
9. Involve children and youth.
10. Monitor statewide local food policy developments.
Food Labeling & Marketing; Food in Schools; Nutrition & Health; Good/Local Food Economies; Community Food Growing; Food Sovereignty; Regional Coordination; Good/Local Food Economies; Small Business Support; Advocacy; Good Food Governance; Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning; Food System Coordination; Agriculture & Food Production

Plan Information

CategoryDatabase entry
Plan RegionNorth Carolina
Publication Date2010
Entry reviewed by original authorYes
PDF attachmentView Full Report
Plan TitleFrom Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolina’s Sustainable Local Food Economy
Author(s)Jennifer Curtis, Dr. Nancy Creamer, and Tessa Eliza Thraves via The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), which is a partnership between N.C. State University, N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS). Special thanks is given to 15 Working Issue Teams (WITs) facilitators whose leadership was critical to the creation of this document. 
Author Type Partnership; Non-Profit; University
Region Type State
Funding Sources Foundations
FundersGolden LEAF Foundation; Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation; N.C. Rural Center – Agricultural Advancement Consortium; W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Total Project BudgetUnspecified
Plan GoalsCentral Vision: North Carolina has a strong local food economy where all North Carolinians regularly consume fresh, healthy foods that are grown, raised, caught, processed, distributed and marketed sustainably by local producers and businesses.
Objectives of this written document (and accomplished by its publication) are to:1. Articulate shared values and components of sustainable local food systems;2. Identify and promote collaboration among existing local and regional organizations;3. Learn from existing initiatives and identify best practices and potential models; 4. Develop and prioritize actions at the state and local levels, including needed policy recommendations and program initiatives.
Throughout this process of formulating this document, the Farm to Fork initiative outlines nine issue areas and goals to accomplish (see “Plan Recommendation Structure” below).
Intended AudienceIntended audience encapsulates a broad range of agencies, and stakeholders across the state of North Carolina.
Plan Recommendation Structure9 “issue areas” (goals/priorities), each with specific sub-recommendations (see “Plan goals” above). 
1. ENGAGE Decision Makers in Strategic Food-Systems Planning and Implementation,2. COORDINATE Food-Systems Policies and  regulations,3. GROW new and transitioning Farmers and Secure Prime Farmland, 4. EXPAND Local Market opportunities,5. CULTIVATE Community gardens Statewide, 6. STRENGTHEN Local government Initiatives,7. ADDRESS Public health and food access disparities,8. INCREASE Consumer education and outreach,9. PROMOTE Farm-to-school programming and engage youth.
Strategies were identified in conjunction with 11 “Working Issue Teams” (WITs), which each identified a “game changer” strategy earlier in the process; these 11 “game changers” are incorporated (and identified) across the recommendations. 
A full summary of recommendations is on p. 29. 
The plan also concludes with a section of recommendations for individuals, “10 Things You Can Do to Make a Difference in Your Community.” 
Catalyst for PlanA project born out of CEFS’s recently launched Farm to Fork initiative. 
Creation ProcessCenter for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) established a 75-person advisory team for the Farm to Fork initiative, which launched in 2008. 
Held 6 regional meetings across the state with over 1,000 participants, “including those working in the fields of agriculture, commercial fishing, community organizing, education, faith, finance, nutrition, philanthropy, planning, public health, public policy, state and local government, and youth outreach” (p. 8). 
Based on feedback at these meetings, CEFS identified the 9 “issue areas” (goals/objectives) around which recommendations are structured. 
To create recommendations, CEFS put together 11 “time-limited, topic-specific” Working Issue Teams (WITs) made up of area experts (p. 11). Each WIT identified one game changer, “ideas considered to be important to implement at the state level and doable within a short time frame (one to two years” (p. 11). 
CEFS Farm to Fork Working Issues Teams list: 1. Community Gardens and Farms,2. Consumer Outreach and Marketing,3. Direct Markets,4. Expanding Institutional, Retail and Food Service Markets for Small and Medium-Scale Farmers,5. Farm-to-School Programming,6. Formalizing the Initiative: Foundations and Baselines,7. Land Use and Local Government Initiatives,8. Processing and Other Food Systems Infrastructure,9. Public Health and Food Access Disparities,10. Support for New and Transitioning Farmers,11. Youth and Social Networking.
CEFS then hosted a statewide summit in 2009 (“From Farm to Fork: Building a Sustainable Local Food Economy in North Carolina”) where WITs presented findings and recommendations for feedback. 420 participants attended.
Theoretical Framework(s) Employed  N/A
Theoretical Framework(s): Additional LiteratureUnspecified
Development Timeline2 years
Implementation StrategyUnspecified; However, although there is not a direct implementation guideline, each strategy is detailed with strong background information and contextual data.
Implementation TimelineUnspecified
Evaluation StrategyUnspecified
International Development Framework(s)None
Current Plan StatusUpdate in progress
Government Adoption StatusUnknown
Government Adoption Status (Notes)N/A
Supplemental Documents N/A