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The Michigan Good Food Charter: Planning for the Next Decade of Good Food

TThe 2010 Charter established six goals for an equitable, sustainable, and economically vibrant Michigan food system. As the ten-year mark approaches, time is ripe to examine the progress made and formulate a new vision for the coming decade. 

The Charter

The Michigan Good Food Charter, released in June 2010, established six goals for an equitable, sustainable, and economically vibrant food system in Michigan. The Charter set out to meet or exceed the following goals by 2020: 

  1. Michigan institutions will source 20 percent of their food products from Michigan growers, producers and processors.
  2. Michigan farmers will profitably supply 20 percent of all Michigan institutional, retailer and consumer food purchases and be able to pay fair wages to their workers.
  3. Michigan will generate new agri-food businesses at a rate that enables 20 percent of food purchased in Michigan to come from Michigan.
  4. Eighty percent of Michigan residents (twice the current level) will have easy access to affordable, fresh, healthy food, 20 percent of which is from Michigan sources.
  5. Michigan Nutrition Standards will be met by 100 percent of school meals and 75 percent of schools selling food outside school meal programs.
  6. Michigan schools will incorporate food and agriculture into the pre-K through 12th grade curriculum for all Michigan students and youth will have access to food and agriculture entrepreneurial opportunities.

Last month, TLD joined fellow community stakeholders and leaders from the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems to talk about the future of the Charter. Thanks to the work of food policy councils, government agencies and programs, businesses, and community organizations across the state, significant progress has been made toward the six goals established in 2010. However, a recent analysis of state legislation by UM Urban Planning Graduate Student Jess Wunsch indicated that more work is needed to ensure that state policies support the food system envisioned in the charter.

Plans for the Future

For the remainder of 2019, the MI Good Food Charter Steering Committee will engage with stakeholders to develop a working draft of the 2020 Charter. Starting in 2020, the committee will launch a statewide feedback campaign which will be used to further refine the document. A summary of the updated charter will be shared in conjunction with the 2020 Michigan Good Food Summit in the fall. 

What can you do?

There are many ways to engage in Michigan’s Good Food Movement. Connect with your local food policy council, spread the word about the Charter in your community, or take action in your personal or professional life. Visit the MI Good Food Charter website to sign the Resolution of Support and find more ways to get involved. 

Travertine Garcia is the Community Health Intern for SE Michigan with Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at health_intern@localdifference.org

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