The John Merck Fund

Regional Food Systems

Today’s food systems are increasingly understood to embody most of the key concerns facing the world in the 21st century, while at the same time offering potential solutions to most of those same issues. The anonymous, large-scale, industrialized, commodity-based food system that predominates in the United States contributes to major problems such as climate change, water scarcity and pollution, food-borne illnesses and antibiotic resistance, species and habitat loss, obesity and its attendant diseases, food insecurity and market concentration among a relatively few multinational corporations.

In an effort to provide countervailing models, the goal of the Regional Food Systems Program is to strengthen New England’s expanding market for regionally and sustainably grown food with innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the supply chain.  The program’s exclusive focus is the six-state region. 



Note: This program was previously known as the Rural New England Program.