FoodWorks – New York City’s innovative and ambitious food strategy

On November 22nd, the New York City Council presented a comprehensive plan that sets a bold vision for a more sustainable food system. The plan, ‘FoodWorks’, addresses sustainability and health issues at every phase of the food system – from agricultural production, processing, distribution, consumption and post-consumption. The objectives of FoodWorks range from combating hunger and obesity to preserving regional farming and local food manufacturing to decreasing waste and energy usage.

FoodWorks contains 59 policy proposals spanning five phases of the food system. The proposals include new legislation, funding initiatives and far-reaching goals that present a long-term vision for a better food system.

  • Agricultural Production – Support regional farmers, strengthen regional linkages, and increase urban food production 
  • Processing – Generate growth and employment in the food sector
  • Distribution – Improve food distribution channels into and within the city
  • Consumption – Fresh food must be available to New Yorkers regardless of where they live
  • Post-Consumption – Seize opportunities to reduce and recapture waste

The New York Council worked with experts including farmers, gardeners, chefs, partners in government and labor, as well as hunger and environmental advocates throughout the process of developing the Food Works report.  Both content-wise and process-wise New York City’s food policy FoodWorks is innovative and ambitious and can serve as an inspiration for many city councils across the world.