Building NC’s sustainable local food economy

May 13, 2010 at 8:56 pm 1 comment

Nancy Creamer, Distinguished Professor of Sustainable and Community-Based Food Systems

We spend about $35 billion a year on food in North Carolina, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  But much of that goes to out-of-state businesses. Building a sustainable local food economy would keep more of our food dollars in state, where it would stimulate economic development and job creation, bolster the viability of local farms and fisheries, and help address diet-related health problems.

A new report published by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) provides goals and strategies to put us on the fast track to achieving a sustainable local and regional food system.

From Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolina’s Sustainable Local Food Economy is the result of a yearlong “Farm to Fork” initiative spearheaded by CEFS Director Nancy Creamer, who recently was named the Distinguished Professor of Sustainable and Community-Based Food Systems at N.C. State University.

The initiative involved the active participation of well over 1,000 North Carolinians, and included people and organizations working in agriculture, commercial fishing, community outreach, education, faith, finance, public policy, state and local government, and youth outreach.

The report identifies 11 “game changers” that are actionable within two years and statewide in scope.  One major game changer—the establishment of a statewide food advisory council to engage decision makers in strategic food-systems planning and implementation—has already been accomplished. Other game changers moving forward include:

  • expanding local market opportunities by developing a model farm-to-institution program (Fort Braggs’ “Feed the Forces” program) and helping to network direct-marketing initiatives statewide;
  • increasing consumer education and outreach (the 10% Campaign, funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation);
  • addressing public health and food access disparities by expanding and strengthening N.C.’s SNAP-Ed program; and
  • promoting farm-to-school programming through the development of a model farm-to-school pre-service teacher instruction program.

You can read the whole report here.

Entry filed under: Politics/ Policy, Sustainable Farming, Sustainable Food. Tags: , , .

Opening day of a CSA Learning something new every day

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