On November 7, 2010, the MA Food Policy Council was effective, enacted as Chapter 277 of the Acts of 2010, “An Act establishing the Massachusetts food policy council,” Statute M.G.L. c.20, Section 6C, creating the 17-member Food Policy Council (“FPC”).
The Council includes four members from the legislature including two from the House of Representatives, one appointed by the majority and one by the minority leader; and two members from the Senate, one appointed by the majority and one by the minority. Six members include representatives of various agencies within the Executive branch, and seven industry representatives are appointed by the Governor from groups within the food production and marketing chain.
The FPC must meet periodically at the call of the chair but no less than 4 times a year. All meetings are public and the council keeps a record of its meetings and actions
The FPC appoints an advisory committee consisting of members of specific stakeholder groups. Other committees can be appointed to serve at the direction of the FPC.
The purpose of the FPC is to:
(1) increase production, sales and consumption of Massachusetts-grown foods;
(2) develop and promote programs that bring healthy Massachusetts-grown foods to Massachusetts residents through various programs such as:
(i) targeted state subsidies,
(ii) increased state purchasing of local products for school and summer meals and other child and adult care programs,
(iii) double coupon initiatives,
(iv) direct market subsidies to communities with identified needs,
(v) increasing institutional purchases of Massachusetts-grown foods and other programs to make access to healthy Massachusetts products affordable, and
(vi) increasing access to healthy Massachusetts-grown foods in communities with disproportionate burdens of obesity and chronic diseases;
(3) protect the land and water resources needed for sustained local food production; and
(4) train, retain and recruit farmers and to provide for the continued economic viability of local food production, processing and distribution in the commonwealth.