Regional Food System

Food System Plan InitiativeRRRC Food System Webpage-1
A food system is a collaborative network that includes everyone involved in putting food on our tables, whether that table is located in our homes, a restaurant or our kids’ cafeteria. This system integrates food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic and social health of the region.
As part of ongoing efforts to foster sustainable agriculture, the Regional Commission conducted a comprehensive study of the region’s food system, culminating in the development of a Regional Food System Plan. An asset assessment, economic analysis, stakeholder interviews, focus group meetings and a producer survey were conducted to document the conditions in the region’s farm and food economy as well as stakeholder’s challenges and resource needs. The goal of the plan is to strengthen the local food economy in order to retain more local dollars within the region, while also promoting citizens' health, encouraging preservation of local farmland and enhancing farmers' quality of life.

To address the core obstacles documented in the plan, nine priority projects were identified through a public strategic planning process:

1. Create a Regional Food System Council
2. Develop a Local Food Regional Marketing Plan
3. Foster Development of a Community Kitchen and Food Processing Center
4. Foster Development of a Food Node/Aggregation Center
5. Develop Farmer Mentorship Programs
6. Foster Farm Labor Internship Programs
7. Conduct a Regional Farm Labor Needs Assessment
8. Explore Feasibility of a Mobile Slaughter Unit
9. Promote Existing Resources

RRRC took the first step in plan implementation with the creation of a Regional Food Council to act as an advisory body and ensure the continuation of this effort. As recommended by the plan, the council’s first major task will be development of a regional local foods marketing plan. These steps will lay the groundwork for implementation of the other projects, including on-going development of the George Washington Carver Agricultural Center.

Please contact Michelle Edwards at (540) 829-7450 or medwards@rrregion.org for more information. For meeting materials and information relating to the development of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Farm & Food System Plan, please see the archive page.

Food Policy Council
Food Policy Council Members (May 2020)

Please note - All meetings are open to the public, and attendees are encouraged to join in the discussion. However, only appointed members may vote on council matters.

Upcoming Meetings & MaterialsThe next meeting of the Rappahannock-Rapidan Food Council will be in July 2020 and will be held electronically.  More information will be posted here as available.