In July, Farm to Institution New England (FINE) began working with Solution Consulting Co on a strategic planning process designed to bring clarity and collective vision to FINE’s work. Insights will inform the development of a comprehensive three- to five-year strategic plan grounded in principles of racial and social justice.
“FINE conducted a rigorous selection process to evaluate the two dozen highly qualified consultants who responded to our RFP,” says Peter Allison, FINE’s Executive Director. “We are thrilled to be working with Solutions Consulting Co. They bring years of expertise in guiding organizations to articulate their bold visions and create smart pathways to meet them, while centering voices of those most impacted.”
Over the next six months, the process will include input from FINE leaders, staff, and network members; as well as individuals all across the value chain, those newer to FINE, and individuals who are impacted by the work of the farm to institution movement in New England. Together, this wide range of community partners will work together to understand the needs of the people most impacted by inequities in the farm to institution supply chain, clearly define who FINE serves and how, and identify specific ways that FINE can more fully live into its commitments to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the face of the intensifying climate crisis.
FINE and its partners will identify the tools, strategies & processes necessary to implement their vision and mission while clarifying the most impactful role that FINE can play in supporting New England institutions and communities, across the sectors and region that FINE serves. The strategic planning process will specifically explore the following questions:
- How can FINE support institutions to:
- Meaningfully connect with and support their local community food systems?
- Address and repair the inequities on which our current food system is built?
- Mitigate their food system impacts which are adding to the climate crisis?
- How can FINE support communities and others along the supply chain to meaningfully engage with and influence institutions?
Solution Consulting Co. will strategically guide and support the engagement by contributing expert knowledge in assessment, training, and system transformation, rooted in equity, diversity, and inclusion. The collective efforts of all FINE staff and partners will advance FINE’s programs and lay important groundwork towards achieving FINE’s vision of “an equitable and just food system that provides access to healthy and abundant food for all New Englanders, and is defined by sustainable and productive land and ocean ecosystems.”
“This will be so much more than the creation of a strategic plan document,” says Hannah Leighton, FINE’s Director of Research and Evaluation. “This is a process through which we will better understand and be able to serve the communities most impacted by our work — in a way that we hope will have lasting impact for years to come.”
About Solution Consulting Co.
Solution Consulting Co. is a Black-owned national diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consulting company based in Charlotte, NC, specializing in helping leaders transform their organizations from the inside out. The organization is on a mission to disrupt and dismantle racism, cultivate inclusion and belonging as well as unleash the power of diversity for mission driven organizations through equity-centered design and practice.
About Farm to Institution New England (FINE)
Farm to Institution New England is a six-state network of nonprofit, public and private entities working together to transform our food system by increasing the amount of good, local food served in our region’s schools, hospitals, colleges, correctional facilities, and other institutions. The FINE network consists of non-profit organizations, government agencies, institutions, foundations, farms, food distributors, food processors, food service operators and others.
This partnership is funded in part by grants from the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and the Cotyledon Fund.