Food System Plan

A Food System Plan, as defined by the American Planning Association, is “a set of interconnected, forward-thinking activities that strengthen a community and regional food system through the creation and implementation of plans and policies.” The overall goal is to improve the well-being of people and their communities by building more sustainable, just, equitable, self-reliant, and resilient food systems.

Many of our clients undertake a Food System Planning process after they’ve completed a Food System Assessment.  While the assessment process helps a community understand their local food system landscape, the planning process provides the policy strategies to address the gaps and challenges identified in the assessment phase.  The assessment is the diagnosis, the plan is the prescription.

NVA provides strategic direction and technical assistance to the local governments, food policy councils, and community coalitions developing their Food System Plans.

We work with communities to:

  • Create a shared vision for the Food System Plan process.  We work with clients to identify the values and goals driving their work.

  • Plan a robust and inclusive community engagement process.  We work with clients to design surveys, plan community meetings, facilitate social media engagement, and deploy a variety of tools to be sure that all community voices are heard.

  • Analyze and synthesize key findings.  We help clients interpret the findings from the community engagement process, and turn those into actionable recommendations.

  • Support formal adoption of the Food System Plan by local elected officials.  We assist clients in navigating the formal public process of Food System Plan adoption by their local or state elected bodies.

About Us

New Venture Advisors is a team of business consultants specializing in local food system planning and new enterprise development.

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Food System Plan Projects

Learn how we have helped our clients with Food System Plans below.

Riley County and City of Manhattan, KS Food System Master Plan

Manhattan, KS

The Food and Farm Council of Riley County and City of Manhattan, KS is partnering with New Venture Advisors to complete a Food System Master Plan that will guide the development of a dynamic and sustainable community food system. This is a comprehensive approach to identifying policy solutions that influence how food is produced, processed, distributed, stored, transported, purchased and consumed. NVA and the Food and Farm Council are engaging community members and food system stakeholders to inform goals and action steps, and the finished Plan will be presented for adoption by the governing bodies of the City of Manhattan and Riley County.  The planning project is funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas’ Pathways to a Healthy Kansas community grant program. (2021)

Junction City and Geary County Food System Master Plan

Junction City, KS

LWGC Food Policy Council will complete a Food System Master Plan to guide the development of a dynamic and sustainable community food system. This planning process provides a comprehensive approach to food system efforts – identifying policy solutions that influence how food is produced, processed, distributed, stored, transported, purchased and consumed. The Plan will be presented for adoption by the Junction City Commission and the Geary County Commission. New Venture Advisors will provide strategic direction and technical assistance to them and their local planning partners in the development of this plan. (2021)

City of Wichita Food System Master Plan

Wichita, KS

The Health and Wellness Coalition of Wichita’s Food Policy Committee is developing, connecting and building a local food environment that creates a sustainable food system to serve the needs of producers, suppliers and consumers. The Coalition is composed of numerous organizations including the Greater Wichita YMCA which serves as fiduciary for the Coalition. By partnering with the City of Wichita to create a 10-year Food System Master Plan, they are guiding the development of community food assets in Wichita, Kansas. A Food System Master Plan process is an opportunity to provide a comprehensive approach to food systems efforts – identifying policy solutions that influence how food is produced, processed, distributed, stored, transported, purchased and consumed. New Venture Advisors provided technical assistance, guided the collaborative planning process, and authored the master plan. (2021) Download plan here.

Douglas County Food System Plan

Douglas County, KS

In 2016, Douglas County embarked on a process to update the Lawrence-Douglas County Comprehensive Plan, set a framework for the next 10 years to guide policy changes by its local governments, to shape the work of the Douglas County Food Policy Council (DCFPC), and to inspire community actions and partnerships. The year-long process engaged stakeholders from across the food system through dozens of focus groups, community meetings, and sector-specific surveys. It also piloted an innovative model of engaging underrepresented voices through participatory action research, where community members led efforts to connect with and engage those traditionally left out of policymaking decisions. The resulting Food System Plan includes specific policy goals, objectives, and action steps to guide the community’s ten-year vision for food system development. This initiative was overseen by Eileen Horn in her role as Sustainability Director for the City of Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas, prior to her engagement with New Venture Advisors. (2016)

 Whatcom Local Food Campus

The Whatcom Community Foundation invests in activities and organizations that improve the ability of people to help themselves, increase connections among people, and take cooperative approaches to community issues. WCF is exploring the development of a local food campus on a waterfront property that would become a multi-tenant site, anchored by a school district commissary. The goal is to strengthen Whatcom County’s local food system by promoting health equity, forging tangible strategic connections between food production organizations, and helping farmers connect with institutional markets. NVA developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development. (2021)