A regional food system creates and supports long-term connections between farmers and consumers, while also helping to meet the health, social, economic and environmental needs of communities within that region. Producers and markets are linked via efficient infrastructures that:
promote environmental health;
provide competitive advantages to producers, processors and retailers;
encourage identification with a region’s culture, history and ecology; and
share risks and rewards equitably among all partners in the system
What is the Regional Food System Working Group?
The Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG) began in Fall 2003 and is coordinated by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. RFSWG meets quarterly in central Iowa. This working group is part of the Value Chain Partnerships project led by the Leopold Center, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa State University. Begun in 2002, VCP supports new supply networks for farmer-led food, fiber and energy enterprises that follow sustainable practices. Primary funding is from the Leopold Center and Wallace Center at Winrock International.
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