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Meridian Institute

National Critical Infrastructure Sector Coordination: Food and Agriculture Sector

Related: Agriculture and Food Security, Global Stability and Security, Sustainability and Resilience

Meridian assisted the US Department of Homeland Security in designing and facilitating new collaborative approaches between government entities and the private sector on critical infrastructure protection. For this project, Meridian helped the Food and Agriculture Sector establish a Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) to facilitate its critical infrastructure protection efforts. The SCC represents the diversity inherent in the sector, taking account of geography, size, products, and services. This mechanism ensures sector coordination (particularly with regard to interaction within the sector and with government agencies on homeland security issues), as well as the identification of sector needs and the establishment of sector priorities.

The Food and Agriculture Sector involves organizations as diverse as food processors, restaurants, grocers, distribution and warehousing concerns, and animal product and vegetable producers. In addition, the SCC had to be designed in a way that would allow it to communicate and make decisions quickly and effectively with its counterpart Government Coordinating Council, which includes the US Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, state health commissioners, state agriculture commissioners, and other relevant government agencies.

Meridian also advised the Water, Maritime, Chemical, Transportation, and Healthcare Sectors on their efforts to establish coordination mechanisms. Meridian has also engaged in high-level strategy planning exercises with senior leadership involved with infrastructure protection at the Department of Homeland Security.


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