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Updates on policy, programs, and perspectives from the MA food system.
           

August 25, 2020

Climate Change Legislation Will Impact the Local Food System

The food system and climate change are deeply entwined issues. From farming and fishing, to processing and distribution, to food waste and public health, every part of the food chain relies upon and impacts natural resources that, in turn, are related to climate change. The Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan highlights these connections, and calls for the state to consider the local food system when developing laws and regulations related to climate change. Support for local food can help mitigate negative impacts on the environment, and carefully crafted climate change policy can help protect the local food economy, and public health as well.

August 25, 2020

Resilient Lands Initiative Seeks Input

The Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Resilient Land Initiative (RLI) is an effort to solicit input from Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state agencies, landowners, and residents to draft and implement a new Statewide Land Conservation Initiative.

June 11, 2020

Small parcel white paper

Since the 1940’s farmland in MA has been steadily converted to other uses. From 1940 to 2017, 1,446,300 acres, 74.6% of our farmland has been lost to development, resulting in a patchwork of noncontiguous farmland and parcels of farmland and former farmland that are fewer than five acres in size.

June 11, 2020

Guidance on safely opening Farmers Markets

As the COVID 19 pandemic expanded, local boards of health and other municipal bodies, along with market managers, vendors, and shoppers, understandably became concerned about how to operate farmers markets safely. Most winter markets were cancelled and some summer market openings were put on hold.  

June 11, 2020

MA Urban Ag Coalition

The Collaborative has been working with Mill City Grows and the Springfield Food Policy Council to facilitate the MA Urban Ag Coalition. During regular Zoom calls, urban ag organizations from around the Commonwealth are discussing how they are changing their operations to respond to safety concerns and the increased need for healthy food in their communities, sharing resources, and identifying other opportunities for collective work and resource sharing. Calls thus far have focused on community garden and school garden changes, employing youth during the summer, and funding challenges and opportunities. 

April 23, 2020

Building a Resilient Local Food System in the Wake of a Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the actions taken to protect public health highlights the fragility and interconnectedness of many complex systems. The food system is no exception. Disrupted logistics, including all inputs and outputs, labor, distribution, and all associated activity is the principal cause of the current challenges faced by the food system, as highlighted by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.