Imagine a Regional Food System that Improves Health Outcomes 2012 Spring Conference Plenary Exercises
Activity Overview Objectives: Stimulate thinking about the market for healthy food and improved health outcomes Explore the role of food hubs and other partners in shaping and responding to demand
Materials Needed Flip charts Tape Markers 5x7 file cards or sticky notes Handout with instructions for participants, for facilitators
Imagine… You are free to use or modify these exercises to stimulate new conversations related to your work. The deeper you wish to go with each exercise and the more participants you have, the more time you should allow.
Introductions Participants briefly introduce themselves (30 seconds or less), their organizations, their location, and the roles they play in their regional food/health system.
Exercise 1 Brainstorm - What activities or venues currently exist in your region that get healthy food to people, especially people who are disadvantaged, at risk of malnutrition, or have health issues? Make a list of as many activities as you can on a flip chart. Which activities have the greatest scale of impact in your region?
Exercise 1 example: Deep South Group Farmers Markets, especially with SNAP Food banks with community gardening New Roots-low income CSA with SNAP benefits, weekly box Atlanta – Wholesome Wave match to SNAP $ Senior Centers selling using SNAP $ Gleaning – Society of St. Andrews Farm to School Food Corps – Food access in Schools Childcare programs – CookJeff pre to Eat & Cook to Teach School Gardens Urban Agriculture Global growers w/ refuge farmers, Refugee Ag Partnership Program Red = greatest potential to scale
Exercise 2 Brainstorm- Who would benefit financially in your region from healthier people? Make a list on a new page. Consider the costs of unhealthiness and the benefits of health to society as well as individuals. Put a check by those organizations that are already involved as buyers or supporters of your regional food system. Be creative!
Exercise 2 example: Deep South Group Financially disadvantaged folks Health care providers Public Health Insurance companies (will lose money) Employers benefit (some involved) Pharmaceuticals (will lose money) State government (will gain – up to national level) Medicare (will gain) Ag Chem companies (will lose money) Farmers (will gain) Fast Food companies (will lose) Everyone/people Families
Exercise 3 Choose one group from Exercise 2 that is not already actively engaged but would benefit from healthier people. Imagine a role for them on the demand side of the market – as buyers. For example, what if health insurance companies offered discounts to people who take cooking classes, commit to cook healthy meals from scratch, and have improved check-ups over a certain period of time? What if major employers were sponsoring CSAs? Write the demand target group and the nature of their engagement on a card and put it on the table.
Exercise 3 examples: Deep South Group Fast Food businesses: Purchase locally All Southern state governments: Municipal governments spend all their money on local food
Exercise 4 Break larger group into groups of 2-4 people Sketch out a Value Chain to meet demand Work backwards from the demand side. What could a supply or value chain look like that responds to this demand? *Cards that represent functions and players in a value chain can be prepped ahead of time with lots of blanks for people to use.
Exercise 4 Cont’d Who else would have to be involved? Look at the answers to Exercise #1 as well as your own experience. Consider organizations already involved in the food system as well as unusual suspects (e.g. law enforcement; landlords; waste haulers; government programs; etc.) Use cards to “build” the value chain collectively. One function and/or organization per card.
Examples of Value Chain Actors Input suppliers Producers Processors Aggregators Distributors Wholesale buyers Direct sales infrastructure Consumers Waste management Marketing Economic Developers Media Government National organizations Trainers/ Extension Researchers Certifiers Brokers Landowners Financing Software designer/ providers Food hubs Organizers/ networkers Nutritionists Food testers Menu developers Social service agencies
Fast Food Value Chain Pizza Hut (Insert Fast Food company here) Existing Distribution Infrastructure (Sysco, Etc.) Local Food aggregators Farms Government Tax Credits 1.Increase processing infrastructure 2.Standardizing local quality control 3.Storage 4.Increase supply 5.What does the link look like to the buyer? 6.Season extension Change policies 1.Tax credits to buy local 2.Earmark EBT toward healthier choices 3.Financial incentives for activities to promote healthy options 4.Reduction for subsidies 5.Healthy choices act in regards to calories Food Hubs 1.Aggregators 2.Distribution 3.Processing 4.Increased Funding for consumer education on a local level Economic Developers Create barriers to entry for fast food outlets that aren’t sourcing fresh local
Exercise 4 Discussion Questions Where are the biggest gaps in the value chain you have sketched out? Where is there a missing activity? Where is there a missing organization? Which of the gaps are appropriate to be filled by a food hub? Who would the hub need to partner with to make it work? What kind(s) of assistance would a food hub need to fill these gaps?
State Institutions Value Chain* *Goal: All Southern State Municipal governments spend all their money on local food Farmers: At scale Diversity of producers Cooperatively organized Trainers/Extension Research Crop and livestock training and education Input Suppliers Marketers Landowners Processors Government Health Department Economic development Food Hubs Infrastructure Aggregation Distribution Business Development for producers Media (Education of consumers)
Exercise 4 Discussion Questions How much is already in place and what would have to be created? Look at the answers to Exercise #1 It is ok to make assumptions as you go along; the facilitator should try to capture those assumptions and write them down to keep the group on the same page. What would have to change in the food system, including policies, to respond to this demand? What role, if any, would food hubs have in those changes?
Exercise 5 Share Results with the Regional Group Hear report backs from each group that has sketched out a value chain. Describe the demand you imagined. What new or unusual suspects did you engage in the value chain? Where did you see major gaps? What ah-has did they have? Capture these on a flip chart.
Report Back What did you discover about the appropriate role for food hubs and the possible roles for other partners? What did you find that you really need to know more about? What was the best idea you heard?
Deep South Conclusions 1.Opportunity to work with Fast Food and State institutions at macro and micro level 2.Food hubs and their networks are natural bridges 3.Where are the market opportunities and what are their current capacities for production? 4.Plugging into existing fast food infrastructure 5.State economic development $ (tax credits) dedicated to developing local food businesses and agribusiness