The NH Food Alliance began building a statewide network and developing shared goals for the food system in 2013.
Phase I: Design & Connect - 2013
A diverse team of food system leaders and stakeholders known as the NH Network Design Team (NHNDT) designed a food system network structure and a process for identifying shared goals and strategies. We reviewed food system plans, reports, and data from NH and the region and built connections and relationships across the state.
Phase II: Engage & Develop – 2014-2015
In 2014, we engaged over 250 people in listening sessions, focus groups, and workshops across the state to identify critical opportunities and challenges in the NH food system. From among these priority concerns, our Data Synthesis Team identified potential opportunity areas, or parts of the system where a targeted shift can result in positive changes throughout the rest of the system. Farm, fish, and food enterprise viability emerged as the most promising entry point among interconnected opportunity areas to begin our collaborative work. The resulting Viability Initiative outlines the approaches and recommendations that reflect the voices and unique interests and needs of Granite Staters and as such, are meant to evolve, change and adapt moving forward.
Throughout Phase II, the NH Food Alliance continued to nurture connections and relationships across food system sectors. Our Process Team and Strategy Team developed a shared vision, goals, and overarching strategy for the network. A robust and healthy network will ensure that the Viability Initiative, and future initiatives of the NH Food Alliance, will be successful.
Phase III: Collaborate & Adapt - 2016 and beyond
In early 2016, the Viability Working Group was organized and began to prioritize and refine the goals and approaches outlined in the Viability Initiative. This process resulted in a set of action priorities in five focus areas (Market Development, Fisheries, Education, Land Resources, Food Access) to guide implementation of the Viability Initiative. Action Teams were organized, began meeting in February 2017, and will develop a work plan for their implementation efforts. The Action Teams will meet and work regularly throughout 2017 and report progress through the Food Alliance's newsletter and network gatherings. Meanwhile, the Food Alliance will continue to build and nurture the network, and launch new initiatives as determined by network partners.