The need for NEFKE emerged out of conversations over several years within the Research and Assessment Workgroup of NESAWG. Members voiced common challenges in accessing, using and sharing data and information supporting regional food systems work. There was a growing realization that many were struggling with this in isolation, duplicating efforts and competing for resources though sharing similar goals.
Over the past two years, through generous support from the John Merck Fund Regional Food Systems program, the NEFKE project team has been implementing the pilot phase of this evolving vision for linking people, technology and information in support of food system goals. Our initial focus has been on Farm to Institution value chains in New England. A team of collaborators, content experts and technicians have researched, explored, and tested tools and methods, developing prototype resources and platforms, including this website.