Bishop Resolution Urges Governor to Set Up Food Working Group
JUNEAU- Senator Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, has introduced legislation asking Governor Sean Parnell to establish a state food resource development working group, with the aim of improving access for Alaskans to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate foods.
“The idea behind setting up this working group is for state government agencies to have a stronger focus on locally-grown or harvested foods for local markets,” Senator Bishop said. “Alaska is at the end of the supply chain, so any self-sufficiency we can achieve in feeding ourselves is a good thing.”
The resolution, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, notes that Alaskan consumers buy more than $1.5 billion in agricultural and fisheries products, but only about five percent of it is produced locally. Increasing the amount of local produce, meat and fish in Alaskan markets will help drive a stronger economy, as well as lead to healthier lifestyles for residents who have access to those markets.
“This resolution asks the governor to establish a working group to coordinate state agencies, and have them work together with the Alaska Food Policy Council, which is an independent organization that shares the goals of more local food production, healthier and more nutritious foods, and less dependence on the supply chain,” Senator Bishop said.
The resolution asks the governor, if he establishes the working group, to include in its discussions, deliberations and recommendations from a wide variety of state and federal agencies, Alaska Native corporations and non-profit organizations.
SCR 1 was referred to the Senate resources committee. It has a companion resolution in the State House, HCR 1.