Rebuilding Our Local Food Economy
The Foodshed Alliance is working to shift our food and farming system towards significantly increased production and consumption of locally grown, locally produced, and locally sourced foods. This will shift millions of dollars into our region’s local food economy, dollars that are currently being stripped away by an industrialized, globalized, fossil-fuel-based, chemical-dependent food system that is degrading our environment, damaging our health, and undermining our local economy.
The Foodshed Alliance is working to help build a local resilient food economy by engaging citizens, communities, growers, food-related businesses, and local governments to take the far-reaching actions that are needed to localize and strengthen our local food system. The Foodshed Alliance seeks to catalyze self-organized community efforts to:
- Raise awareness of the importance of food security, food sovereignty, food justice and nutrition among the public, local government, and local business sectors, and the relevance of food localization
- Increase consumer demand for locally produced food
- Proliferate farmers’ markets and community gardens
- Increase local food production capacity to help bring prices down, making healthy local food accessible and affordable to more people
- Influence local institutions—large employers, schools, government—to source more of their food locally
- Influence and empower local food banks, pantries, and emergency food services to source more of their food locally
- Influence local government polity to support increased local food production capacity and ensure fairness in the local food system
- Influence local restaurants, grocers and supermarkets to offer more locally produced food.
As more people become conscious about what they eat—where it comes from, how it is produced, how it impacts health and well-being—consumer demand for fresh, healthy, locally sourced food is outstripping supply. Therefore, we need to bolster our local food system to increasingly feed a greater proportion of our local population. In other words, we need to localize our food supply to the greatest level possible.
- Through education, awareness-raising, and community engagement, we are working to promote closer connections between eaters and those who grow and produce our food. This brings us into contact with a vibrant and rapidly-rising local food culture that connects us with the land, with the natural processes and cycles of life, with our community of fellow eaters, with those who are joined together in a great movement towards local food.
- Through concentrated support of food entrepreneurs, we are working to rebuild the infrastructure that can help to efficiently connect local producers with their larger commercial markets – the restaurants, grocers, and institutions whose customers increasingly demand fresh, healthy, locally sourced food.
- We are working to connect local growers and food entrepreneurs with sources of business support that can help them respond to the complex challenges of meeting ever-increasing demand.
Food localization results in stronger community economies, environmental sustainability, better nutrition and health, more civic engagement, and a more resilient local food system based on deep ecological principles and a more connected populace, with far less dependence on fossil fuels and petroleum-based inputs.
The overarching vision is that in such a food-localized community our health will improve greatly, especially the health of our children. We will feel more connected, more alive, more engaged, living more meaningful and satisfying lives. We will be devoted to rebuilding the soil in our farmlands. Our local farmers will be able to buy the land on which they farm. We will transform the landscape.
Our agricultural land will mostly be used for food production for local consumption. We will produce thousands of new jobs. Our local economy will be robust! We will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation. We will be sequestering carbon in the soil, in plant growth. We will have plans in place to feed all our people in times of crisis or emergency. We will have a far greater degree of food security and food sovereignty. Major corporations will no longer be in control of what and how we eat. Our local foodshed will be resilient and self-reliant.
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