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Baseline Food System Assessments & Action Plans

Plowed Earth

A baseline food system assessment is a tool for deepening a community’s understanding of its food system. It is a systematic way of collecting baseline data and stories that define a community’s food system with the goal of identifying ways to enhance or strengthen the food system.

Baseline assessments involves both qualitative and quantitative data about all parts of a community’s food system, including food production, distribution, consumption, and waste disposal. Much/most of the data in a baseline assessment is secondary data which gives a snapshot of the current realities of the food system and encourages using a ‘food lens’ with data already being collected by partner (or potential partner) organizations in the community.

By conducting a baseline assessment, your food council can:

  • Deepen its understanding of its food system;
  • Increase awareness of the food system’s assets, challenges, and opportunities;
  • Build connections and create alignment across sectors of the food system;
  • Add value to partner initiatives through sharing access to baseline data;
  • Offer a model that can help other communities interested in conducting an assessment.

Coming Soon – Baseline Community Food System Assessment Toolkit!  Soon, we will be releasing this toolkit as a guide to help communities develop their own baseline food system assessment. 

Examples of food system assessments and action plans:




In Neighboring States