I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, under the authority of Article III, Sections 1 and 24 of the Alaska Constitution, and in accordance with AS 44.19.145(c), establish the Alaska Food Resource Working Group (AFRWG) to recommend policies and measures to increase the purchase and consumption of local wild seafood and farm products.
Background and Purpose
The objectives of this Order are to improve the health of state residents, increase food security, strengthen local economies, and encourage community development.
Currently, State agencies responsible for the development, oversight, and marketing of locally grown and harvested foods and agencies responsible for meals in schools and public facilities operate without the benefit of an established shared mission statement or goal.
Eight State agencies administer various programs that affect food production, wild harvest, and foods served to residents of the state. The AFRWG shall collaborate with the Alaska Food Policy Council (AFPC), an independent organization that was established to provide recommendations for improving access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods for all residents of the state. The AFRWG shall invite a member of the AFPC governing board to represent the AFPC at scheduled meetings.
The AFRWG shall increase collaboration among State and local agencies, the AFPC, the University of Alaska, federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and regional corporations established under 43 U.S.C. 1601 – 1629h (Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) to promote a healthy food system within the state. Specific benefits and results include the following:
- Develop a mission statement that promotes increased use of locally grown and harvested foods within State and local agencies, institutions, and schools;
- Identify factors that might discourage or prevent locally harvested and produced food from being purchased by federal, State and local agencies, institutions, and schools;
- Review existing or proposed programs, policies, statutes, and regulations that impact the state’s food system and recommend to policymakers methods to improve coordination and implementation;
- Identify research needed to support and encourage increased consumption and production of local foods within the state; and
- Engage with the public to seek additional input on ways to promote the above-listed goals.
There is created an Alaska Food Resource Working Group (AFRWG) that is assigned to the Department of Natural Resources for administrative purposes. The AFRWG is composed of the following members:
- The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources or the Commissioner’s designee;
- The Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game or the Commissioner’s designee;
- The Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development or the Commissioner’s designee;
- The Commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services or the Commissioner’s designee;
- The Commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development or the Commissioner’s designee;
- The Commissioner of the Department of Corrections or the Commissioner’s designee;
- The Adjutant General of the Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs or the Adjutant General’s designee; and
- The Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation or the Commissioner’s designee.
The Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, or the Commissioner’s designee, shall serve as chair of the AFRWG and shall report regularly to the Office of the Governor on activities conducted and issues that arise under this Order.
The AFRWG shall encourage increased use of locally grown and harvested foods. Specific areas to be addressed include the following:
- Provide recommendations for policy changes that would increase the use of locally grown and harvested foods within State and local institutions, agencies, and schools;
- Provide recommendations on increasing consumer awareness of the health and economic benefits of purchasing and consuming locally grown and harvested foods;
- provide recommendations on how to develop educational programs that highlight state food sources to foster future generations of farmers in the state; and
- Provide recommendations to protect, preserve, and develop the state’s agricultural land for the benefit of all Alaskans.
Consistent with law and available appropriations, each designated State agency shall use existing personnel and monetary resources to comply with this Order.
The AFRWG may use teleconferencing and other electronic means, to the extent practicable, in order to gain the widest public participation at minimum cost.
At times and locations to be determined by the chair, the AFRWG may also convene public meetings to present information and receive comments.
Meeting of the AFRWG shall be conducted in accordance with AS 44.62.310 – 44.62.319 (Open Meetings Act).
Records of the AFRWG are subject to inspection and copying as public records under AS 40.25.110 – 40.25.220.
The AFRWG expires on June 30, 2014.
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, this 28th day of June, 2013.