Values

The values of the CFSA are closely aligned with the values of Food Solutions New England (democratic empowerment, racial equity and dignity for all, sustainability, and trust). All work of the CFSA is driven by the following values:

Sustainability

The value of sustainability is realized in:

  • Reduced food waste
  • Abundant, sustainably produced local food
  • Sustainable agriculture practices as the norm and growers of all scales have access to knowledge about sustainable agriculture practices
  • Climate resiliency, e.g., agriculture in the state is ready to adapt to climate change, can withstand catastrophic weather events, etc.; and that catastrophic weather events or economic policies in other parts of the country and world do not significantly impact Connecticut residents’ access to food
  • People learning and sharing skills such as gardening, composting, nutrition, cooking, food preservation etc.

Access – all people in Connecticut have access to healthy, affordable, diverse food.

The value of access is realized in:

  • All persons eligible for federal and state nutrition programs being aware of, having access to, and being adequately supported by these programs (ex. SNAP, WIC, free and reduced price school meals, summer meals)
  • Farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and other sources of healthy, affordable, fresh, culturally appropriate food are available in all communities and those communities have control over those sources
  • Prices at grocery stores and farmers’ markets are relatively equal, and price does not vary considerably throughout the state; prices of locally produced food are competitive with imported food
  • An emergency food system that is efficient, responsive, adequate, and fair; and offers a variety of perishable and non-perishable foods
  • All people live near/have access to community gardens
  • Workforce development programs that improve incomes are available to all

Justice

The value of justice is realized in:

  • Courage to lean into complexity, controversy, experimentation, and innovation; and to stand against injustice
  • Demographic factors, including race, gender, age, ability, citizenship status, etc., do not affect an individual’s ability to access healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate food
  • Food justice work is led by a diverse group of people from all races, ethnicities, and sectors
  • Accountability and transparency exist at all points in the food system
  • Living wage for all types of work in the state
  • Farmworkers, especially migrant farmworkers are protected, earn living wages, and are empowered to advocate for their rights
  • Restaurant and foodservice workers are protected, earn living wages, and are empowered to advocate for their rights
  • Community empowerment and civic engagement – residents are politically active on issues of food
  • Environmental justice – residents, particularly low-income people and people of color, are not at higher risk for environmental harm (lead poisoning, exposure to pesticides as agricultural workers, lack of access to land, etc.)
  • Racial equity – people of color are not more likely to experience food insecurity, diet-related diseases, unjust working conditions, etc.
  • Health of individuals and communities is not preordained by zip code, race, housing status, etc. (social determinants of health)

Enjoyment

The value of enjoyment is realized in:

  • People enjoy growing, purchasing, cooking, and eating food, particularly in group and community settings
  • Welcoming culture for all at food and agriculture venues, including farmers’ markets
  • Cooking and gardening education available to children and adults
  • Culturally diverse foods in stores, at restaurants, at institutions, and in homes; consensual, respectful cross-cultural exchange of food and growing traditions
  • Farm tourism that connects consumer to producer