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64 Action Items Found
Initiate a statewide food waste reduction campaign similar to the United Kingdom’s “Love Food Hate Waste” campaign or California’s “Food is Too Good to Waste” campaign to provide consumer education and highlight the environmental benefits of reducing food waste.
Launch an educational campaign to teach consumers about when a product is still safe to eat, even past the expiration/sell by date.
Clarify expiration/sell by dates, and reduce the number of foods that require a date label, using information from Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic.
Develop educational materials about science that is relevant to a range of topical farm management and operations practices, such as organic certification, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), alternative fuels, and others. These materials should address impacts on the environment, public health, and the economy. Assist farmers, retailers, and retail food chain workers in using these materials to educate consumers about these topics.
Develop Extension resources and assistance for home gardening, food seasonality, selection, preparation, and preserving.
Fund, develop, and implement educational curriculum and events to increase consumer awareness of the benefits of eating fresh, local seafood, as well as precautions to take to ensure that fish eaten comes from unpolluted waters, and that exposure to heavy metals in fish is minimized. Revisit past New England Seafood Series programming by UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program, and consider rededicating funding.
Develop a toolkit for seafood marketers to easily educate their consumers.
Expand and fund mechanisms for source-tracking for locally landed fish and shellfish, so that all fisheries in Massachusetts are tracking and recording details about their catches, and fisheries data is improved. Source tracking technology developed by the seafood distributor Red’s Best could be considered as a model.
Promote locally caught fish species through established seafood outlets and distribution channels such as conventional grocery, retail, and fish markets.
Support direct-to-consumer models for seafood sales, such as community supported fishery (CSF) programs. Support organizations that spur CSF development through education and technical assistance.
Make local seafood eligible for purchase with consumer incentives programs, like Boston Bounty Bucks.
Distribute sustainably-caught, local seafood to hunger relief organizations.
Distribute local seafood at retail locations that accept SNAP.
Distribute fresh, whole fish to markets, with a focus on customers’ cultural preferences. This is a marketing strategy that reduces processing costs and delivers cost-savings to customers.
Encourage sale and consumption of lower-cost, underutilized species, like Whiting, Arcadian Redfish, Dogfish, and Scup in all markets.
Promote safe recreational angling – including clamming, lobstering, and spear fishing – that enables individuals to fish for their own seafood. Facilitate this by developing urban access to fishing piers, and removing language barriers for permits.
Increase state funding for buy local organizations to at least $500,000 annually .
Provide support to the Massachusetts Partnership for Food Safety Education to improve consumer food safety education programs. Focus on product labeling, freshness dating, and related information.
Create a program of public education and point-of-sale signage about safe handling of food during and after purchase.
Develop standardized guidelines regarding the use of the word ‘local’ when advertising and marketing food. The guidelines should be designed primarily to support Massachusetts growers, fishermen, manufacturers, and retailers, and secondarily to support New England growers, fishermen, manufacturers, and retailers.