Loaves and Fishes is about connecting family farmers and community based fishermen. The policy decisions that have turned farms into food production machines with grave ecological, health and economic consequences are being mirrored on the marine side. Fishing is being turned into a highly extractive industry with similar consequences. NAMA already has a history of working with family farm organizations such as the Association of Family Farms and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. We are now broadening our work with the family farmer by building new alliances with the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC), farmers' markets and other local food advocates. In February 2009, we became a NFFC member. We believe by working together our food production ecosystems can be protected. To the producers, this means self-governing and building local economies. To the consumers this falls on their dinner plate by eating local foods and supporting local food providers.
What we want:
- The right to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and the right for small-scale producers to define their own food systems.
- Those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of commodities markets and corporations.
- A strategy to transform the current directions for food, farming, pastoral and fisheries systems to ones that are determined by local producers.
- Prioritization of local economies and markets that empower family farms, small scale fishing, pastoralist-led grazing, as well as food production, distribution and consumption based on environmental, social and economic sustainability.
- The right of local communities to decide how to provide and distribute food through food sovereignty.
How we are achieving this?
- By building alliances with small scale family farm associations to support each other in common struggles and solutions.
- Through the Think Global; Eat Local Seafood mantra, NAMA is building a market for the catch of ecologically responsible, local fisheries that will allow us to build a base of support for the long-term health of the marine ecosystems that sustain the economic health of small-scale fishing communities.
- Strengthening local fishing communities by better return on less catch; creating market appreciation for locally caught seafood through Community Supported Fisheries (CSF).
- Supporting the growing number of CSF programs in communities such as Port Clyde, ME that provides fresh, Maine-caught shrimp and groundfish to the local community.
- Creating more CSF’s in other New England communities.
- Provide consumers and fishermen the tools necessary to develop their own CSF programs.
- Establish programs that educate the consumers and end users of the economic and ecological benefit of locally caught seafood by community-based fishermen.