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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Burlington, Vermont » Food Systems Research Unit » Research » Research Project #441569

Research Project: A Regional Self-Reliance Analysis of New England to 2030

Location: Food Systems Research Unit

Project Number: 8090-44000-001-002-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Feb 1, 2022
End Date: Jan 31, 2023

To improve our understanding of the potential for regional food systems to provide adequate, affordable, culturally appropriate food under a variety of rapidly changing climate, environmental, and public health conditions, this project will explore how New England could meet 30% of its food needs within the region by 2030. To achieve this goal, ARS and the Cooperator will pursue the following objectives: • Estimate New England’s recent historical capacity for regional self-reliance in food. • Create a spreadsheet model for exploring alternative scenarios of future self-reliance based on possible changes in regional food consumption and production. • Develop benchmarks for production by food category in each state to achieve the goal of producing 30% of the food consumed in New England by 2030.

The Cooperator will gather an interdisciplinary team to study regional food production, processing, distribution, and consumption in the New England states. Analysis of secondary data will be used to estimate current agricultural production, fisheries landings, food manufacturing, and food consumption. Computational modeling will be used to explore scenarios of alternative future diets and production milestones for different foods in the region. Stakeholders will be engaged to provide feedback on modeling assumptions and on the value of the approach to inform food system planning. The Cooperator will summarize lessons learned from the research in a project final report.