Knowledge for better food systems

New toolkit to empower local food advocates in the United States

The Food Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School, partnering with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, has released an update to the toolkit Good Laws, Good Food: Putting Local Food Policy to Work for Our Communities. The toolkit is intended as a guide for advocates who seek to influence food law and policy in their local communities in the US.

The toolkit is designed to aid individuals and groups, including local food advocates and nonprofit organizations such as local food policy councils, working to change their local food system. This toolkit was created to provide a starting place for these individuals and groups to understand basic legal concepts surrounding local food systems, develop a base of knowledge about the main policy areas, and be inspired by innovative policy solutions from other cities and states.

This updated second edition accounts for some of the changes that occurred in food policy over the past five years and adds new sections on food waste and food procurement, and updates other sections such as school food and nutrition education. The toolkit is composed of eight sections that cover a range of potential topics that a local food policy council or advocate may wish to explore.

You can read more about the toolkit here and download it here (pdf).

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North America

North America is the northern subcontinent of the Americas covering about 16.5% of the Earth's land area. This large continent has a range of climates spanning Greenland’s permanent ice sheet and the dry deserts of Arizona. Both Canada and the USA are major food producers and some of the largest food exporters in the world. Industrial farms are the norm in North America, with high yields relative to other regions and only 2% of the population involved in agriculture.

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