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What is Food Policy?
Food policy is defined as "any decision made by a government agency, business, or organization which affects how food is produced, processed, distributed, purchased and protected," according to Neil D. Hamilton in Putting a Face on Our Food.
What is a Food Policy Coalition?
Food policy coalitions/councils are comprised of stakeholders from various segments of a local food system. The primary goal of most food policy coalitions/councils is to examine the operation of a local food system and provide ideas and recommendations for improvement through public policy.
In Cleveland-Cuyahoga County we refer to our FPC as a "coalition" rather than "council" because it's not administered through any government organization, as food policy councils typically are. Merriam-Webster defines a coalition as "a temporary alliance of distinct parties, persons, or states for joint action," which is a good description of the types of partnerships that develop within the Coalition around policies, programs, and projects.
A few examples of other regional food policy coalitions/councils:
- Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council
- Toronto Food Policy Council
- Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition
- Ohio Food Policy Council
As you can see on this map, Ohio is home to more than 10 food policy councils and similar organizations.
Here are comprehensive lists of food policy coalitions/councils across the United States and Canada:
What is a Food System?
A food system is the network of food producers (farmers), food consumers (eaters), and all the industries that link them together. The five key segments of food systems are:
- Waste Recovery
Food Policy Topic Areas
We at the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition recognize the following areas for making food policy changes:
- Food security & access
- Land-use planning to promote & preserve local food production
- Institutional support of the local food economy
- New farmers (urban & rural)
- Food waste recovery
- School nutrition programs
- Transportation, distribution, & value-added processing