URI’s 2023 food summit will ‘Set the Table for a 2030 Food Vision’

Seventh Annual Rhode Island Food System Summit to be held Jan. 18

KINGSTON, R.I. – Jan. 10, 2023 – While Rhode Island’s food sector is one of its largest – representing nearly $4.5 billion in aggregate economic output and supporting 70,000 jobs – the state is still overly reliant on distant food producers, importing approximately 90% of its food. On Wed., Jan. 18, at 9 a.m., state government, academic, business, and community partners will come together virtually to discuss critical food system issues and work together to build a stronger, more resilient, sustainable, and more equitable food system for Rhode Island. The three-hour event will be live-streamed.

Sophie Egan, author of “How to Be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet,” will speak on food’s impact on human and environmental health. (Photo: Cristin Young)

The University of Rhode Island’s seventh annual Rhode Island Food System Summit, “Setting the Table for a 2030 Food Vision,” will feature a keynote address by author, educator and New York Times contributor, Sophie Egan, who will focus on food’s impact on human and environmental health. Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Director of Food Strategy Julianne Stelmaszyk will discuss progress toward developing a new state food strategy and meeting the region’s goal of producing 50 percent of its food locally by the year 2060. The morning will also include a case study and discussion of Matunuck Shellfish Hatchery and Research Center with URI alum Perry Raso ’02, M.S. ‘06 and Marta Gomez-Chiarri, URI professor of Fisheries, Animal, and Veterinary Sciences.

Panels will cover: Preserving and Growing Agriculture & Seafood Industries; Cultivating Food Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Growing Good Food Jobs and Growing Farm to School programs and activities. Additional breakout sessions examining these issues and others will be held beginning in February. Information and registration details will be available following the food summit.

This 2023 Rhode Island Food System Summit is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required. Those registering are invited to attend an in-person reception at Tilted Barn Brewery later in the evening on Jan. 18.

The Rhode Island Food System Summit is sponsored by the URI Business Engagement Center. For more information, contact:  Sharon Pavignano at (401) 874-5124 or at spavignano@uri.edu.

WHO: URI President Marc Parlange; U.S. Senator Jack Reed (recorded remarks); Julianne Stelmaszyk, director of food strategy, Rhode Island Commerce; Kenneth Ayars, chief, Rhode Island DEM Division of Agriculture; Elizabeth Tanner, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce (recorded remarks); Perry Raso, owner, Matunuck Oyster Farm; Lauren Abda, Branchfood CEO and founder; Jessica Patrolia, chair, Rhode Island Farm to School Network; Shannon Brawley, executive director, Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association; URI and other academic experts; local business leaders; and many more. Visit the Rhode Island Food System Summit for a full agenda and speaking program.

WHAT: The seventh annual Rhode Island Food System Summit, Setting the Table for a 2030 Food Vision

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, 9 a.m. – noon

WHERE: This year’s Rhode Island Food System Summit will be held virtually.
Advance registration is required.