OUR MISSION AND VISION
COFSAC’s mission is to provide community-informed, research-based policy recommendations to state leaders to support growing local, regional, and statewide food economies within which producers have access to new markets and low-income populations have access to fresh, affordable, and healthy foods.
This mission will be accomplished through collaboration and coordination with agricultural producers, relevant state and federal educational institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and consumers to connect state and federal agencies and to provide Colorado agricultural producers, including fruit and vegetable producers, with viable market opportunities. Areas of focus include:
- food and nutrition assistance,
- direct and intermediated market development,
- institutional procurement,
- and farm-to-school programs
We seek to serve as a resource for research and support at the request of the governor, members of the general assembly, or any state agency in connection with the council’s purpose and duties.
Trusted partner collaborating with policy makers, thought leaders, and communities to create a healthful, prosperous, equitable, and resilient Colorado-based food system.
Working at the systems level, our work touches on a broad range of food and agriculture related issues and opportunities, including:
- Increasing healthy food access for all Colorado residents
- Creating economic opportunities for Colorado agricultural producers and food-related businesses
- Strengthening the economic, environmental, cultural and social foundations of local and regional food systems
- Identifying and using existing studies relevant to the food system
- Working with and developing relationships with other task forces, committees, and organizations pursuing similar objectives
- Developing recommendations that promote a robust, resilient, and long-term local food economy
- Collaborating with local and regional food policy councils and coalitions in the State
WHAT IS THE FOOD SYSTEMS ADVISORY COUNCIL?
The Colorado Food Systems Advisory Council (COFSAC), established through the Senate Bill 10-106 and continued in 2023 through Senate Bill 23-159, is a legislatively mandated, governor and General Assembly -appointed, volunteer-based council.
COFSAC is supporting the growth of local, regional and statewide food economies within which producers have access to new markets and low-income populations have access to fresh, affordable, and healthy foods.
WHAT DOES THE COUNCIL DO?
COFSAC members span the breadth of the food system and are proven experts. The Council is charged by the legislature to support the following activities:
- Direct research regarding national best practices regarding food and nutrition assistance, direct and intermediated market development, institutional procurement, and farm-to-school programs,
- Work with and develop relationships with other task forces, committees, and/or organizations pursuing similar objectives
- Develop recommendations that promote the building of robust, resilient, and long-term local food economy
- Develop recommendations regarding hunger and food access
- Collaborate and coordinate with agricultural producers, relevant state and federal educational institutions, nongovernmental organizations and consumers to connect state and federal agencies
- Provide Colorado agricultural producers, including fruit and vegetable producers with viable market opportunities through initiatives like the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s “Colorado Proud”
WHO MAKES UP THE COUNCIL?
Our 23-member body is comprised of a broad spectrum of representatives from government and non-government entities. Our volunteer members represent most sectors of the food system and allow for a council diverse backgrounds and experiences. See profiles of our current council members here.
To apply for an appointment to COFSAC, please see the Apply to Become a Member section of this website.
WHAT IS THE INTENT OF THE COUNCIL?
The Council was originally established in 2010 through Senate Bill 10-106 as an advisory committee to make recommendations to the General Assembly and to the appropriate regulatory agencies, not to make policy. The charge of the council is to advance recommendations that strengthen healthy food access for all Coloradans through Colorado agriculture and local, regional and state food systems and economies. The COFSAC is the state conduit for hearing, reviewing, and advancing critical food systems issue in which state government does or could play a role.
HOW DOES THE COUNCIL WORK?
The Council accomplishes its charge in two ways:
- At the request of the Governor, members of the General Assembly, or any state agency senior leaders, COFSAC delivers research-based, community-informed perspectives. For each requests, we design the research, conduct outreach to gather input, identify best practices, write a report, and solicit public comment to provide insights that can inform policy.
- As policy takes shape, COFSAC uses our expertise and relationships to help understand implication and alternatives to help refine parameters and even wording.
- COFSAC plays an advisory role on many topics that are important to the food system
- Members of COFSAC participate on many other councils, acting as a conduit of information across the state to help lead to better regulatory outcomes.