Inaugural 'Island Food Systems' Summit Kicks Off On Monday

Stakeholders from across the Caribbean and U.S. To collaborate on food security

  • Staff Consortium
  • February 17, 2024

The inaugural Island Food Systems Summit, a pioneering event hosted by Virgin Islands Good Food (VIGF), is set to take place at the University of the Virgin Islands Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix from February 19 to 21, 2024.

Following on from the 52nd Annual Agricultural and Food Fair, which concludes on the 19th, the summit aspires to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders from the USVI, the wider Caribbean and the mainland United States to enhance the territorial food system through collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Black Food & Justice Alliance, the University of Iowa Extension, and other partners will join Summit panel discussions alongside Virgin Islands farmers and producers, VI Good Food says. Topics include the establishment of a USDA Regional Food Business Center, cross-sector collaboration, empowering farmers, disaster response strategies, and youth engagement in food systems. 

The event also features unique "learning dinners" at local venues on Tuesday evening, and  culminates on Wednesday with a special benefit dinner prepared by renowned St. Croix chef Ralph Motta.

The travel costs of farmers from the St. Thomas/St. John region to the summit are being supported by the organization. VI Good Food says it has also sponsored the $100 ticket price for the event for over 30 farmers territory-wide, through the Summit Scholarships program. 

Supported by various sponsors, including the V.I. Department of Tourism and Southeastern African American Farmers' Organic Network among others, the summit showcases the region's progress in expanding agriculture, conserving natural resources, and improving food security. It marks a substantial step in advancing food security and sustainability in the Virgin Islands, reflecting VI Good Food’s commitment to building a thriving, just, and sustainable local food system.

The 3-day schedule, ticketing information and more can be found at the Summit’s official website

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