Local Continues Its Ascent As A Marker Of Quality And Trust
As a mark of premium distinction, foods and beverages with a local angle have been rising stars within a crowded field of designations that speak to premium quality, including organic and natural, “free-of” products and those that are artisanal or handmade. The Hartman Group has been tracking the term’s meteoric rise to stardom for years now. In our Organic & Natural 2014 report, we found that “the authenticity halo around organic and natural has begun to fade, and local foods and beverages are poised to surpass them as a symbol of trust and transparency.” Harman Group post.
45 Cities Will Sign Urban Food Policy Pact on World Food Day in Milan
The Milan Expo began in May, and focuses on the theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Cities will be vital in accomplishing the goal of feeding the world; around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas, and the global proportion of people living in cities will likely reach 65 percent by 2025. The Urban Food Policy Pact (UFPP) will unite city leaders worldwide for the creation of more just and sustainable urban food systems. The pact will address the potential of cities to contribute to food security through urban agriculture, and its proponents expect it to be one of the most significant legacies of the Milan Expo 2015. Food Tank post. Pact.
Food hubs to drive rural food revolution
More than 10,000 new jobs are set to be added to the UK’s growing food and farming industry as a network of new food hubs takes shape across England with building work expected to begin early next year, Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss announced today. The 17 government-backed Food Enterprise Zones (FEZs), stretching from Cumbria to Cornwall, will help drive up tourism, attract investment and add millions to our growing rural economy. Cumbria Crack story.
East of England boosts its campaign for local food suppliers
East of England Co-operative is celebrating its successful partnership with local suppliers with a fortnight of events. Sourced Locally Fortnight, which took place 1-14 June, gave a fresh boost to the scheme, which sees the society work with more than 140 supplier partners. Overall, it offers more than 2,750 products, with new additions introduced on a monthly basis. The society has put over £34m back into the local economies that surround its 200 branches across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Co-operative News story.
Tahoe Food Hub sees big growth as restaurants seek sustainable sources
Tahoe Food Hub is a nonprofit organization that works to restore local food distribution by building a regional food system for North Lake Tahoe. It is increasing access to nutritious, ecologically grown food by creating a network of farms within 100 miles of North Lake Tahoe and connecting them to restaurants, small grocers, schools and hospitals. As many as 17 farms from Nevada County supply food for the project, along with 25 farms in the surrounding foothill and valley farming communities of Auburn, Newcastle and Penryn. Sierra Sun story
Durham Food hub feeds local market as it navigates way to sustainability
Firsthand Foods started with a kitchen on wheels selling sausage sandwiches made from pasture-raised pigs raised on nearby farms. But instead of evolving into a roving brand or a restaurant, the company’s owners used the Sausage Wagon as a starting point to assemble a farm-to-table pipeline that connects farmers to customers seeking local pork and beef raised humanely on pastures without hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products. News & Observer story.
Muskegon could be ‘food hub’ for storage, processing, shipping, study says
The Port City could command an important spot in the food chain. A study released this month suggests establishing a “food hub” near U.S. 31 and I-96 interchange – possibly in downtown Muskegon, near the port and rail lines. A food hub could gather, store, and distribute foodstuffs, as well as engage in food processing, marketing, and retail sales. The 26-page feasibility study found support for “moving forward to pursue and secure funding to conduct business and implementation plan development in 2015 and launch of the operation in 2016.” MLive.com story. Study.
Groupon Acquires OrderUp to Power Nationwide Food Ordering and Delivery
Groupon (http://www.groupon.com) announced the acquisition of OrderUp (www.orderup.com), an on-demand online and mobile food ordering and delivery marketplace operating in nearly 40 markets across the United States. The addition of OrderUp significantly boosts Groupon’s presence in the $70 billion food ordering and delivery sector. Business Wire story.
Helping Immigrant Farmers Sow Seeds From Home on American Soil
On a verdant farm five miles from Newark Liberty International Airport, Jacob Okam struggled to push a shiny, new garden tiller over the bumpy soil last month. His black jersey was already drenched in the noonday sun as he cut a lonesome, but winsome, figure in the field — at one with the land that is both his heritage and his hope. Mr. Okam, 63, was growing leafy Nigerian vegetables on American soil with New York City business principles. And a sprinkling of his native wisdom. The New York Times story.
Center for Environmental Farming Systems, Incubator Farm Project
Access to land has been identified as one of the top challenges facing new farmers in North Carolina. The Incubator Farm Project worked with communities to address this need by assisting them with repurposing land into places that incubate new farmers. These new farmers get access to land, in exchange for “rent” in the form of fresh farm products or other services donated to communities in need — a win-win-win opportunity for everyone involved. What is an incubator farm? Typically it is one or more parcels of land where one or multiple producers are farming and marketing farm products through their own new farm business enterprise, often with organizational access to training / technical assistance opportunities on farm business and production practices. Website.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
The lunchtime revolution at a school for children with autism
In the dining room at Queensmill, a west London school for children with autism, spotting the truly extraordinary moments can be tricky. Matthew, for example, sits at a table wearing ear protectors in a dazzling shade of Day-Glo green, but there’s nothing extraordinary about that. They’re used to reduce the sensory inputs he might otherwise find overwhelming. Like a number of the kids here, he wears them every day. No, the really extraordinary thing is also the most banal: it’s the full plate of food in front of him, the one that he’s busy clearing. “This was a boy who was eating so little he’d become a cause for serious concern,” says Jude Ragan, headteacher of Queensmill. “It was all about how we could get him to eat three or four chickpeas. We worried about anorexia. Now look at him.” The Guardian story.