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With the ever increasing demand for locally-grown fresh food both growers and retailers may be asking themselves why? Here’s some compelling data about why local food matters!
- According to Worldwatch Institute, the average plate full of food on an American table has traveled 1500 miles before being eaten. Uggggh! How fresh is that???
- Like many products, food is becoming a “moralized market.” That is, people are combining their expenditures with their values. Purchasing and consuming locally grown, fresh food says many things: “I care about my body.” “I care about the environment.” “I support local business.”
- Shoppers across all demographics are willing to pay more for local food.
Local Food = Local Dollars
In mainstream supply chains, farmers retain only 17.4 cents of the consumer food dollar on average (USDA-ERS). No wonder the average American Family Farmer is struggling to keep afloat and mid-sized farms are sold off every year.
- In “short” supply chains, local producers received up to seven times the share of the retail price compared to mainstream supply chains (USDA-ERS).
- Food hubs often return between 75 to 85 percent of their wholesale sales revenues to their producer (USDA-AMS).
- There is a significant rise in businesses using the “fresh format” model (USDA-AMS).
When we are building communities, it is important to recognize our natural assets and maximize upon their potential. When trying to invest in its natural capital, the community can focus attention to
- To improve utilization of natural resources
- To preserve and enhance the beauty of nature by organizing and utilizing trails and parks
- To protect the environment and improve the services that nature provides.
This is the introduction to a series of articles that will define the capitals and provide indicators, geographies, and characteristics through a Community Building Toolkit. The toolkit aims to help identify forms of capital in the community, understand how capital is invested, and educate the community so they are better equipped to form plans of action.
Projects that strengthen and deepen the roots of our communities have always counted on generous people to give of their time, expertise and treasure. However a large amount of value can leave a community as populations and businesses come and go, and if there is no cost-effective structure to allow Legacies to be established. The NDCF offers financial professionals, individuals, businesses, schools, and non-profits, multi-faceted community-based tools and resources to establish new funds or to grow existing ones that NDCF currently manages. This helps residents and others who once called the area home with simple solutions to create a Legacy for current and future generations.
Communities with high levels of connectedness have higher GDP growth than communities where there are fewer opportunities to connect. Residents who love where they live vote more and volunteer more!
For more information on community connectedness, check out the Soul of the Community Study conducted by the Knight Foundation.