There is a role for every individual, organization, business and government to play in building a food system that creates health and prosperity for both our people and our environment. Some ways you can participate to support the Food System Alliance include…
- Take action to support our local food system
- Endorse the Food Action Plan
- Sponsor the Food System Alliance
- Become a Member
1. TAKE DIRECT ACTION
See “7 Ways to Advance the Food Action Plan”
Currently the Food System Alliance is facilitated by the members on a volunteer basis. Contact us about contributing support for strategic planning and meeting facilitation.
4. BECOME A MEMBER
Who is a member of the SCFSA?
Membership strives to consist of representation from the required primary stakeholder groups, including:
- Access/Food Security
- Ag Support
- Food Service
- Grocery Outlets
- Processors & Distributors
- Production Agriculture
- Urban Food
- Food System Workforce (Labor)
How does the FSA function?
The FSA was facilitated by Ag Innovations Network, a Sebastopol based non-profit organization, from 2009 through June 2017. Since then, the Alliance is self-directed with member volunteers taking on organizational and leadership roles.
Meetings are to remain open to guests with the following expectations:
- Guests are welcome as observers (the SCFSA welcomes feedback after the meeting)
- Guests are also welcome as invited speakers or to share/participate and provide expertise on relevant topics.
- Prior notice is given to facilitator.
Alliance New Member Process
- The SCFSA will complete an annual membership review process each fall. New members will be accepted only via the annual membership process. Additions may be considered at other times to replace members who resign or are removed.
- Prospective members must attend at least one meeting prior to making mutual decisions about membership.
- New members must be approved by consensus.
- Each new member will be assigned a buddy, who will:
- Review with them the SCFSA Charter, Food Action Plan and other major Alliances processes and projects to help them become a successful Alliance member
- Remind new members of the importance of the on-boarding process
- Give them a feel for the culture of the Alliance, so that they may respect the softer values and practices not articulated in this document, but which affect our working together.
- Help them prepare to be an effective contributing member of the Alliance.
What am I expected to do as an SCFSA member?
The effective functioning of the SCFSA is absolutely dependent on the commitment and regular participation of it members. The SCFSA works only because its members voluntarily commit themselves to making it work. As a member you are asked to:
- Support the vision, purpose, and goals of the Alliance
- Attend at least 8 SCFSA meetings per year (inform the group if unable to attend regularly scheduled meetings)
- Participate in at least one FSA Committee and/or assist with organizational tasks such as facilitation and note taking
- Engage in Alliance meetings using agreed upon principles and actively work toward Alliance goals
- Champion the SCFSA, the Food Action Plan, and represent the Alliance in the broader community
- Members are individuals representing each sector, not necessarily representing an organization
How is the SCFSA governed?
The Alliance is guided by its Charter. The primary principle guiding the SCFSA is that it is a ‘‘roundtable’ where everyone is a leader, but no one is formally in charge. Decisions are made by consensus. Ad hoc committees form to work on special issues and bring back items and issues for the discussion by the whole roundtable.
Are there similar Alliances?
Yes, as of January 2013, there were Alliances operating in eight counties in California, plus a number of Food Policy Councils. Most of the Alliances are now continuing their work through other organizations.
There are also two state-level sister Roundtables, the California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment (CRAE), which brings together representatives from major agricultural and environmental organizations and the CA Roundtable on Agriculture and Water Supply which focuses on ensuring a sustainable water future for California agriculture, and the California Food Policy Council.
How can I be an effective participant in the meetings?
All members need to do four things to be a productive member of the Roundtable:
- Listen carefully to all views
- Be open to new ideas and changing their own views
- Have respect for the different ‘views’ that may be expressed
- Speak the truth—say what is on your mind
The most important thing to remember is that the Alliance works because you make it work. Contributing your perspective and being influenced by the perspectives of others is the first job of all members.
What work will the FSA be focusing on in the upcoming year?
The Alliance has agreed to work on providing input for the upcoming Sonoma County General Plan update. We hope that many of the goals listed in the Sonoma County Healthy and Sustainable Food Action Plan, created by the FSA in 2012, will be incorporated into the new General Plan.
When and where do we meet?
The FSA meets on third Wednesdays from 2:30-5:00 pm, alternating between a Sebastopol and Santa Rosa location. No meetings are held in August and December. The meeting time is open for discussion and possible change.
Will I have support as a new member?
All new members will be assigned a “buddy” to answer questions and provide further background information.
What is the FSA Charter?
See “FSA Charter“.
Contact us for more information.