Massachusetts Food System Collaborative
Massachusetts Food System Collaborative

About

The Massachusetts Food System Collaborative (MFSC) was created following the completion of the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan in December 2015. The Collaborative seeks to promote, monitor, and facilitate implementation of the Plan, as encompassed by its four main goals:

  • Increase production, sales and consumption of Massachusetts-grown foods.
  • Create jobs and economic opportunity in food, farming and fishing, and improve the wages and skills of food system workers.
  • Protect the land and water needed to produce food, maximize environmental benefits from agriculture and fishing, and ensure food safety.
  • Reduce hunger and food insecurity, increase the availability of healthy food to all residents, and reduce food waste.

The Plan provides direction for the Collaborative. Hundreds of people and organizations throughout the state contributed their voices to the Plan, and we engage a diverse range of stakeholders in working toward its recommendations. Our relationships with organizations, public sector agencies and policymakers, and other food system stakeholders around the state inform the Collaborative’s priorities. We work toward policy change that will contribute to a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient food system by building broad support for advocacy campaigns and providing training and other resources to allow partners to participate effectively. We bring together players throughout the food system in an effort to demonstrate the breadth of the food system, and facilitate opportunities for stakeholders to work collaboratively.

Through these networks, we lead advocacy campaigns around items in the Plan that emphasize cross-sectoral collaboration; support equity, sustainability, and resilience in the food system; and have the potential for significant impact through coordinated grassroots efforts. These efforts work toward systemic solutions to targeted problems, increase communication among key stakeholders, and highlight and promote the sharing of best practices.

Mission

Supporting collective action toward an equitable, sustainable, resilient, and connected local food system in Massachusetts.


Read more about our ongoing projects here, and our publications and resources here. Learn more about our mission, vision and strategy here.


The Collaborative’s steering committee is: 

  • Amanda Kinchla, UMass
  • Nathan L’Etoile, Four Star Farms / American Farmland Trust
  • Maria Moreira, World Farmers
  • Vivien Morris, Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition
  • Valerie Nelson, Water Alliance
  • Karen Schwalbe, ‎Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership
  • Liz Wills-O’Gilvie, Springfield Food Policy Council

The Director of the Collaborative is Winton Pitcoff.

Winton Pitcoff is Director of the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative. Prior to being part of the team that founded the Collaborative, he was project manager for the development of the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan. He has worked on food system policy issues at all levels of government, with organizations such as New England Farmers Union, NOFA/Mass, and others. He is also coordinator of the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association and editor of Maple Syrup Digest, an international trade journal.


Program Managers are Brittany Peats and Rebecca Miller

Brittany Peats is a Program Manager at the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, where she works to network local food policy councils, advocate for food waste reduction legislation, and co-wrote the Creating a Culture of Inclusion at Mass Farmers Markets Toolkit. She is currently working to expand food system education in K – 12 schools in Massachusetts. She has a master’s degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from the Friedman School at Tufts University and previously worked for Project Bread, the Office of Food Initiatives at the City of Boston, and Food Link.

Rebecca Miller has been working at the Collaborative since 2018 as the Campaign for Healthy Incentives Program Funding manager. She is an experienced organizer and facilitator and is well regarded in the agricultural community for her skills as a policy advocate and advocacy trainer.


The Agricultural Network Coordinator is Jeff Cole.

As the Collaborative’s Agricultural Network Coordinator, Jeff leads policy initiatives around climate change, farmland access and protection, and farm sustainability. He has a degree in economics and leverages his deep roots in agriculture to create systemic change through collaboration, education, and building networks of support. He worked as the Mass Farmers Markets Executive Director for 19 years and was a member of the MA Food Policy Council from its inception until 2020.


The Equity Policy Network Manager is Norris Guscott.

Norris leads a statewide working group that is facilitating connections between BIPOC farmers, building that network’s capacity for policy advocacy that supports equity in the local food system. Norris is also Director of the Lynn Food and Fitness Alliance (LFFA) in Lynn, MA, where he manages and facilitates community partnerships to address food insecurity and improve other public health intersections.


The Massachusetts Food System Collaborative is supported by the Sudbury Foundation, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, the Merck Family Fund, the Island Foundation, the Wild Geese Foundation, the John Merck Fund, and the Ajana Foundation. The Collaborative’s fiscal sponsor is Third Sector New England/Missionworks.

Massachusetts Food System Collaborative