2001 – The First State Food Policy Council
In 2001, N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps established the first State Food Policy Council for North Carolina. The council was part of a new national network of councils coordinated by Drake University’s Agriculture Law Center. The goals of this first council were to coordinate food policy, primarily in state agencies, promote the use of state products in N.C. institutions, and meet the needs of the state’s hungry. It was the first multi-sector effort focused on food at the agency level and included representatives from agriculture, private industry, hunger relief agencies, the legislature, and a number of state government agencies. While it only existed for two years, a key win was securing a state funding match for the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program.
2009 – The North Carolina Sustainable Local Food Advisory Committee
The second statewide food council (the North Carolina Sustainable Local Food Advisory Committee) was established through legislation in 2009 and housed in the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill came out of a statewide initiative, led by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and its many partners, to develop a statewide strategic action plan for building N.C.’s food system. Many groups and individuals worked hard to make the legislated council a reality. The council had representatives from several state agencies, organizations, businesses, and farmer and fisher groups and individuals. It covered agriculture (production and business), food-related health issues, hunger, environment, land preservation, and more. The list of council members appointed by the legislature, commissioner of agriculture and governor can be found here. Most of these entities are still represented on the current council.
The legislated council had many wins which are summarized in this Power Point presentation and this summary document. In addition, more details can be found in the annual reports of the council. Unfortunately, in spite of its success, the council was sunset in 2013 by a new legislature (along with many other boards and commissions).
2013 – The North Carolina Local Food Council
The Council felt its work was unfinished and that there was still great benefit for the state in working together on food systems in a cross-sector way. As a result, even though it lost its legislative mandate, the members of the council decided to continue its work. Through strategic planning, the council changed its name, developed a revised mandate and accompanying goals, and established committees which will evolve over time as needs change. We are growing and have added new members to the council, have policies in place to guide future work and development, and our history informs our future.