General About the Organization/Mission
The mission of the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition is to build, support and strengthen a statewide network of those involved in West Virginia’s local food economies, with the interconnected goals of improving access to healthy, locally-produced food for all West Virginians and helping viable food and farm businesses to grow.
Through their statewide network, The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition develops regional foodsheds and build connections among those foodsheds by growing food and farm business, promoting access to local foods, sharing resources, changing agricultural policy, mapping and connecting the local food sector, and telling West Virginia’s food and farm story.
The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
|Type of Organization||Non-profit|
Phone: (304) 877-7920
Email: [email protected]
Issues of Focus
Development of local food and farm business, and increasing the availability of and access to local food in West Virginia.
History of Organization
The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition was launched in 2010 by the West Virginia Community Development Hub in August 2010. Community leaders began contacting the Hub in 2010 requesting food and farm information and resources. Hub stakeholders soon realized that to shape the economic landscape of local food would require resource and information sharing between individuals, farmers, governmental agencies, and businesses. The Hub convened over 25 food-focused agencies and organizations to identify needs and lay the basis for what would be called The West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition.
Since its inception the WV Food and Farm Coalition has worked to build and strengthen the state's network of small food and farm business owners, service providers, and other stakeholders. The Coalition has provided research support, networking activities, grant programs, policy training, and other assistance to food and farm system stakeholders.
Programs and Projects
Food System Working Groups
Working Groups plan activities, identify policy needs, and help direct WV Food and Farm Coalition staff in creating tools, information, or events. Working Groups are formed around food system leverage points:
- Food Access
- School Gardening
- Meat Processing
- Food Aggregation & Distribution
- Farmers Markets Policy
- Young & Beginning Farmers
The Coalition works with Working Groups and stakeholders to determine and promote policy and regulatory changes that strengthen West Virginia's Food System. Policy initiatives have included promoting legislation to streamline local health department regulations for farmers market vendors, and leading an effort to expand the ability to form cooperative food business enterprises.
The Coalition takes action on national policies that effect local food in West Virginia. National policy work has included advising the federal Food and Drug Administration regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act and its potential impact on local food in West Virginia.
Road Map for the Food Economy
The Road Map for the Food Economy (PDF) is a statewide “food charter” designed to help us all focus, measure and celebrate our collective progress towards stronger local food systems. The Road Map was originally developed from a series of roundtable discussions in 2012, and was updated in 2014.
Telling West Virginia's Local Food Story
The Coalition curates stories of their activities and those of their partners, with an emphasis on who’s involved, why it’s important, and what the next steps are.
Free Information Library
A free library of information about West Virginia's local foodsheds and local food movement is available on the Coalition's resources page.
Partners and Frequent Collaborators
- West Virginia Farmers Market Association
- West Virginia Community Development Hub
- Value Chain Cluster Initiative
The WV Food and Farm Coalition lists over 50 partner organizations throughout the state and in various foodsheds on their network page.