Florida Food Policy Council

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  • 16 Aug 2016 2:16 PM | Deleted user

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 21, 2016

    PRESS CONTACT: Michelle Gomez (850) 766-6505

    PHOTOS: www.Facebook.com/FLFPC


    ORLANDO, Fla – The newly re-formed Florida Food Policy Council is on a membership tour, setting meetings around the state to encourage participation and highlight local food initiatives. On Sunday, September 11, the tour will make a stop in Orlando, holding its third membership event at East End Market from 12pm to 5pm.

    Clayton Ferrara, the CEO and Executive Director of IDEAS for Us, an Orlando-based organization working in U.S. communities and abroad to solve global environmental issues, will facilitate the meeting. The award-winning organization runs multiple grassroots initiatives that address energy, water, food, waste, and ecology issues through multi-generational education and action. Much like FLFPC organizers are looking to do.

    “We are building a member-driven network,” said Rachel Shapiro, FLFPC Chair and owner of Integrous Health Solutions in Broward County. “This is a grassroots effort to develop a nourishing, inclusive food system for all people in the State of Florida.”

    FLFPC will convene in Orlando immediately following the third annual Florida Food Summit, which takes place September 9th and 10th at East End Market. Also the site of the inaugural summit, East End Market has become an anchor of local food commerce and activism in Central Florida. It is a fitting location for the new push to unite individuals in the statewide effort.

    Stopping first in Fort Myers in April, and then in Tallahassee in July, the all-volunteer council has collected 100 members. Representing many of Florida’s 67 counties and food system sectors, these members are focused on crafting a concerted effort to advance local food policy around the state.

    The Ft. Myers meeting featured food system celebrity Mark Winne, author of Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty. In Tallahassee, the meeting was facilitated by local leader Bakari McClendon, who contributed to the Michigan Good Food Charter and serves on the executive team of the North American Food Systems Network.

    Additional membership meetings are planned in Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale. The affordable annual fees range from $10 for students to $60 for organizations. Membership includes admission to events throughout the year. More information, including Orlando meeting details and how to join the council, is available at www.FLFPC.org.

  • 13 Jul 2016 2:14 PM | Deleted user

    Media Contact:

    Sharon Yeago 352-256-8115

    Rachel Shapiro 954-465-6320


    The Florida Food Policy Council (FFPC) held its 2nd Membership Meeting on Saturday, July 16, 2016, in Tallahassee at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Viticulture and Small Fruit Research Center. The event was sponsored by Winter Park Foundation, Health Foundation of South Florida, Florida Blue Foundation, FAMU and the University of Florida, Institute of Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS.) In addition to the Tallahassee site, FFPC members joined via video conference from Collier County Extension Service in Naples.

    The second Membership meeting built on the work done at the first meeting in Ft Myers in April with national food policy expert Mark Winne. This meeting was hosted by Dr. Jennifer Taylor, Program Leader of Florida A&M University’s Statewide Small Farm program. The day was facilitated by Rachel Shapiro, Chair of the Florida Food Policy board of directors and Executive Director of Heal the Planet based in Broward County, and Bakari McClendon, Network Director, Tallahassee Food Network and owner of Uniquely Qualified Consulting of Tallahassee. The group continued to identify key issues about the entire food system in Florida and sought to develop a larger network of interested citizens, advocates, and professionals.

    The Florida Food Policy Council provides an opportunity to participate in the state’s rapidly developing local food movement, supporting efforts to develop more sustainable and just food systems. All segments of the food chain should be represented in these meetings. Membership is required which encourages engagement and helps support the effort.

    The 3rd Membership Meeting of 2016 will be held on Sunday, September 11th, 2016 at 12:30 pm at East End Market, Winter Park, following the Florida Local Food Summit. Details for this event will be announced soon.

    FLFPC Membership is $25 individual, $10 student and $60 small business, which includes admission (either in person or virtual) to our events and other events throughout the year. Please visit flfpc.org to join/register or email flfpsteering@gmail.com for more information.

  • 22 Apr 2016 5:11 PM | Deleted user
  • 28 Mar 2016 5:06 PM | Deleted user

  • 28 Mar 2016 2:10 PM | Deleted user

    This Sunday, Florida will make history with the first member convening of the Florida Food Policy Council in Fort Myers. This meeting follows the UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference being held April 1-2 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport, 9931 Interstate Commerce Drive at Town Center, Fort Myers, Florida. The Food Policy Council convening will be held on Sunday from 9:30am to 3pm.

    The event is sponsored by Winter Park Foundation, Health Foundation of South Florida, Florida Blue Foundation and Heal the Planet and will feature food policy expert Mark Winne, author of Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty. Winne will lead the group in solidifying desired goals, identifying the membership and governance process and making the new organization as member-driven and grassroots in character as possible. All segments of the food chain are encouraged to be represented.

    Winne’s efforts will help focus the functions and time frames for development of the emerging council including expectations and roles for its emerging leadership. Members will be invited to enroll in three initial committees to focus the work of the burgeoning council – 1) Organizational development; 2) Communication and outreach; 3) Policy issues, research and assessment.

    Organizations from across Florida expected to be represented include: UF/IFAS, Florida A&M University, University of South Florida, University of North Florida, Greater Marco Family YMCA, Florida Food & Farm, LLC, Urban Oasis Project, Root & Tail Farm, Food Policy Council of Indian River County, Apalachee Food Council, Audubon Community Market/Gather & Grow, LLC, GMO Free Florida, and local Community Redevelopment Agencies.

    The Florida Food Policy Council provides an opportunity to participate in the state’s rapidly developing local food movement, supporting efforts to develop more sustainable and just food systems.

    Membership is $25 which includes admission to this event and other events throughout the year. Lunch will be available for purchase at the event site. Please visit flfpc.org to join and register register for the workshop. Please email flfpsteering@gmail.com for more information.

    The Florida Food Policy Council’s Inaugural Membership Meeting will be held Sunday, April 3, 2016 from 9:30am to 3pm at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport, 9931 Interstate Commerce Drive at Town Center, Fort Myers.

    Contact: SHARON YEAGO: 352-256-8115

  • 20 Mar 2016 4:28 PM | Deleted user

    Some excerpts from Doing Food Policy Councils Right: A Guide to Development and Action, by Michael Burgan and Mark Winne

    The following excerpts are designed to give a sense of work that Food Policy Councils [FPCs] can do and how they are set up. Those coming to the April 3 meeting are encouraged to examine the whole document at: http://www.markwinne.com/wp-content/uploads/2012-09/FPC-manual.pdf

    What FPCs Do

    We sometimes talk about the three P's of community food system work. The first is projects...The second P is partners...The last P is policy -- and that's where food policy councils come in. Their primary goals include:

    connecting economic development, food security efforts, preservation and enhancement of agriculture, and environmental concerns;

    supporting the development and expansion of locally produced foods;

    reviewing proposed legislation and regulations that affect the food system;

    making recommendations to governing bodies;

    gathering, synthesizing, and sharing information on community food systems.

    Who Serves on a Food Policy Council?

    The most successful food policy councils can say this about their members: They represent all the sectors of the community food system -- production, consumption, processing, distribution, and waste recycling. They have experts on specific aspects of the community's needs...and they have average citizens with a commitment to local food issues. 

    What FPCs Can -- and Can't -- Do

    FPCs have a large role to play in networking, educating others, identifying needs and problems, and offering solutions to food system issues. FPCs do not make policy however; they advise policy makers and government agencies that have policy making power, such as zoning boards. 

    An important function is to cultivate good working relationships with the people who make decisions about the food system. Sometimes that requires bringing different departments together, or showing them how their jurisdiction includes food system concerns...

    An Example: The City of Oakland

    Oakland, California, began forming its food policy council in 2007...The council sought members from all five sectors of the food system [see above] and from "working communities" that included businesses, labor, community organizations, health organizations, and local government. The chosen members served for one, two or three years. Now all new members serve three years. In 2010, the Oakland FPC welcomed its first youth member. The council meets ten times a year. 

    The Governing Structure

    Who serves on a council, what their responsibilities are, and what the council will do can be spelled out a number of ways. Details of the organization's structure and duties...appear in a council's by-laws, though not all councils have by-laws per se. For volunteer or non-incorporated councils, these are sometimes called governance guidelines. 

    [For a primer on food policy council by-laws see: http://publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/resources/PHLC%20Food%20Council%Bylaws.pdf.]


    When it comes time to make a food policy council operate, having an effective leader is key. The process that selects the chair and vice chair (or co-chairs) should be intentional. 

    In the formative stages of the FPC, members should appoint a leadership committee to identify several worthwhile candidates to run for the top position. Some key words of advice, based on experience: Don't delay this process!

    Making Decisions, Avoiding Conflict

    Even though the members of food policy councils have a shared committment to food security, they also have diverse backgrounds and experience. Making decisions as a group, in any group, can sometimes test the members' and staff's patience. State food policy councils, according to Food First, rely exclusively on consensus for reaching decisons. 


    Whether or not a food policy council has paid staff and other resources comes down, of course, to money. State FPCs are more apt to receive some government funding than regional or local councils. Most food policy councils count on a mixture of government money, foundation grants, and individual and in-kind donations. 

    Some of the Most Common Topics Food Policies Address:

    Procurement: Getting more locally grown food into local institutions. 

    Land Use: Across the country, communities are seeing local farmland disappear, the victim of unchecked commercial and residential development. Particularly in rural and suburban areas, shaping land use policies that preserve farmland is a major concern. 

    Zoning: If crafting land use policy is long-term, big picture work, creating food system friendly zoning policy is more focused and immediate. Zoning laws can make it easier for urban dwellers to keep a few chickens or raise bees. They can expand land available for growing crops...

    Food Safety and Public Health: Whether it's e. coli, salmonella, or other food-borne pathogens, food producers and consumers are concerned about food safety. Each new outbreak reported in the media only fans that concern...Food policy councils sometimes play a role in educating farmers about best practices to reduce the risk of food contamination or to strengthen laws that regulate food safety. 

  • 11 Mar 2016 4:24 PM | Deleted user

    Check out this article about our upcoming meeting and workshop with Mark Winne. https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/2016/03/11/food-policy-council/

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