They eat the rest themselves. Because the soil is contaminated with heavy metals, the farm had to import soil from the Hudson Valley, and plants in raised beds and moveable containers. Feedback Farms offers environmental benefits such as providing habitat for insects pollinators , absorbing stormwater runoff, and cycling nutrients through composting.
But Sullivan feels its biggest benefits are social—providing an educational experience for the community whose members can participate directly in vegetable production, composting and rainwater harvesting. Small and local farms may use pesticides, plow extensively and irrigate inefficiently. Some may grow in greenhouses heated with fossil fuels. Large farms growing crops suited to their region may use less energy per product and grow more food on less land. And adopting strategies such as no-till, more efficient irrigation, integrated pest management, judicious fertilizer use, better handling of manure and leaving fields fallow could help offset the greenhouse gas emissions of large farms.
The inputs into the food production life cycle also vary according to variety of fertilizer used, amount of pesticides and herbicides applied, type of farm machinery, mode of transportation, load sizes, fuel type, trip frequency, storage facilities, food prep, waste, etc. To make sense of the multitude of variables, the Tropical Agriculture Program and a group of international scientists have launched Vital Signs.
Vital Signs is establishing a system for monitoring multiple dimensions of agricultural landscapes simultaneously. Monitoring a minimum set of social, environmental and economic indicators over time will enable farmers, scientists, policy makers and organizations to compare agricultural systems for sustainability and provide tools to evaluate the risks and tradeoffs of various aspects of agricultural systems. Although it is being developed for sites in Africa, the data collection and analysis will be applicable to many different agricultural systems from organic and small farms to large-scale farms.
Eating almost entirely locally was what sustained the first settlers in North America. When did we stop eating foods mainly from our locality? I presume sometime following World War ,I when people had greater access to canned or foods in tins. Then we transitioned from ice boxes to refrigerators. Refrigerated trucks and railcars and of course larger commercial suppliers. We choose a more diverse diet, we enjoy the availability fresh vegetables and fruits grown and harvested thousands of miles from our home.
Eating locally, sustainably and healthfully is a matter of choice and behavior. Thanks for this article. I had no idea of all this info. Refrigerator, freezer and canned used to mean greater variety through winter, on preserved harvest. Now it means shipping food around the world for processing, and then back for selling.
Insanity, for max profit. Photo credit: artescienza. In this webinar, Brislen will demonstrate the importance of identifying the 'what' and 'why' when establishing local food definitions and metrics. By pulling supply chain data from farmers, distributors and buyers into a Data Network, institutions can enhance and automate purchasing impact tracking. Health Care Without Harm will shares the design of Nourished by New England, a seasonal harvest program for health care.
They discuss program goals, the way in which progress toward those goals is being measured, and lessons learned from the first year of program implementation and data collection. Lastly, Health Care Without Harm discusses how they are aligning metrics from this regional program with local purchasing programs in other regions. Many hubs have begun using key performance indicators KPIs to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of their unique businesses.
KPIs are quantifiable measures used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, etc. Although their markets and models are different one hub sells wholesale, one direct to consumers , by actively monitoring and analyzing their financial data, they each have increased their efficiency, and thus their bottom lines. As every hardworking food hub operator knows, running a hub is an incredibly complicated endeavor. Moderated by a food hub business analyst, these hubs will take you through how they are solving their business problems using KPIs. Be warned: after seeing the power of accurate recordkeeping, you may be spending much more quality time with your accountant, and your books!
Learn about exciting opportunities from three distinct, but coordinated national efforts to support leaders who want to strengthen their leadership skills, grow a community support, or apply to take part in fellowship programs. We provide an overview, share how each program is unique and will reserve the majority of time to answer your questions. Value-added food production has great potential for communities as well as individual entrepreneurs, in part, because food production can be profitable even at rather small scales.
One key to smaller scale production success is shared equipment and space. There are many great examples of organizations that support food entrepreneurs begin, and find success, in their operations. You will hear the great impacts of these operations, as well as some of challenges, and details of actually running an incubator.
We will also hear from The Food Corridor, a virtual food hub that connects food entrepreneurs to commercial kitchen space. The Food Corridor also oversees a community of practice of shared-use kitchens, and has created a useful Shared Kitchen Toolkit, a free guide to starting a new shared-use or incubator kitchen and managing the operations of it.
This webinar is in collaboration with Greenbelt Fund. Value chains rely on multiple entities working together, even when their goals may not always align. One role of value chain coordination is to help these entities figure out how to collaborate. In this webinar we will look at how value chain coordinators create policies and procedures to create win-wins along the chain. This webinar will look more at little-p policy inter-business operating principles. Value chains can receive crucial support from intelligent and strategic policies that push participants toward transparency and effective purchasing, and we will see how external value chain coordination can help move all parties to enacting these beneficial rules.
Vanessa Zajfen, now at the Center for Good Food Purchasing has a long history of working with institutions of various sizes on increasing their serving of local, sustainable food. She will share her wisdom on the tactical and strategic levels when working with institutions, such as what policies are effective for creating real impact on the food and the communities they serve. Dan Hobbs of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has created a food hub trading network that is beneficial to all parties.
Rice Importers In Canada
He will share how to create policies that respect the needs of all parties, and bring them success - collectively and individually. A value chain is a set of linked businesses who work together to serve their customers' needs while also addressing larger societal goals. In this, the third webinar of our Value Chain Skills series, we look at how a third party goes about the work of linking the elements of the chain. Presenters from very different contexts — one nonprofit, one from a university, one an independent consultant — will illuminate the art of successful matchmaking.
They will speak on how they identify what is likely to be a good match, and how to go about moving parties to win-win deals. From how frequently they feel they need to keep up relationships, to how they keep track of it all, these presenters will roll back the curtain so that you may improve your own matchmaking success. Be inspired by the promising practices and success stories of collective leadership fostered through alliances, networks, and collaboratives.
These organizations embrace and operationalize the fact that together they can achieve much more than they can possibly do alone. Both will share insights, best practices, and lessons learned from their extensive experience weaving food systems networks in the US. Meet two organizations that have adopted alternative organizational governance models to better reflect their social justice values in their organizational practices.
Through their Shared Leadership structure, La Semilla Food Center shares decision-making power across 4 co-directors, all of whom are women. VCC often requires organizing events and opportunities for key relationships across the food value chain to flourish by engaging the right stakeholders, maintaining communication channels, and fostering a trusting environment.
Examples include organizing stakeholder meetings, forming working groups, and bringing potential partners together. Setting conditions right for an effective convening, with measurable impacts, is critical. Learn from two organizations committed to empowering staff and training up new leadership within their organizations.
Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation applies its theory of change for building an ecosystem of opportunity in both their community of the Pine Ridge Reservation as well as internally within the organization to build power among their staff and volunteers and set an example for Native and rural communities everywhere. This webinar highlights how successful food hubs across the nation have achieved their mission and goals through financial and business metrics. Understanding this study will benefit all manner of people interested in regional food systems.
For instance, food hub operators will be able to identify performance standards and improvement strategies. Private lenders and public sector funders will gain insight on strategic investment strategies for food hubs that will lead to positive economic and sustainable outcomes.
Increasing the health and wealth of communities and the local farmers who supply them requires physical infrastructure to collect and move food. But it also requires a significant level of coordination - people and organizations who are able to make fruitful connections between the food and the consumer; who work to pilot new ideas; who make the political and business ground fertile for success. We call these champions of the food system "value chain coordinators.
This webinar is the first in a series that illuminates, by inspirational example, the skills needed to find success in coordinating a value chain. Our panelists will more deeply explain value chain coordination, introduce valuable concrete metrics to demonstrate impact, and explain, with a personal example, how one can begin their work as a value chain coordinator in a new community.
Utilizing a powerful combination of procurement and investments, health care is exploring ways to build local, equitable food economies, and foster resilient communities. Learn from an in-depth survey of food hubs across the US. This webinar is geared to those who are less experienced in writing grant proposals, particularly proposals for US government grants. Across the US, non-profit community-based organizations are transforming food systems to create more equitable health, wealth, connection, and capacity within their communities.
Some of the most creative and effective approaches to solving food insecurity, health disparities, economic inequity and environmental injustice emerge from this sector. As part of this webinar, we will launch the Food Systems Leadership Network, a new national Community of Practice dedicated to supporting non-profit community-based organizations working on food systems change. In this webinar, we will introduce the Food Systems Leadership Network, highlight its unique components mentorship and grant opportunities! Kellogg Foundation and produced by the Wallace Center.
In California, the Klamath Basin Tribal Food Security Project is enhancing tribal health and food security by building a sustainable regional food system through collaborative and participatory approaches, co-developing research, education, and hands-on workshops and training programs to evaluate barriers and develop solutions to achieve a healthy food system. Leaarn more about and be inspired by their unique approach, best practices and lessons learned along the way. Good food is fuel for our bodies…but a growing number of community organizations use food to truly empower the next generation.
These organizations know that investing in and preparing a new, diverse generation of farmers, food entrepreneurs and advocates is critical to ensuring that everyone in every community has access to healthy, culturally appropriate, locally-grown and sustainably-produced food. Kellogg Foundation and produced by the Wallace Center that highlights key themes and strategies that community food organizations are using to effect change.
And Grow Dat Youth Farm in Louisiana speaks about their Advanced Leadership Program that supports youth as they transform their communities, their environments, and themselves. Join us as we dig into the nuts and bolts of how these organizations are teaching and inspiring the people they work with, uncover the best practices and lessons learned along the way, and share helpful resources. The Federal Reserve System and USDA have partnered to develop a book focused on the community and economic development opportunities of regional food system investments.
This is an unprecedented collaboration with a traditionally conservative section of the Executive Branch. The full report explores many positive community impacts of investing in regional food systems. This webinar will explore examples of regional food system actors that have been proactive and thoughtful in how they incorporate equity and inclusion considerations into their efforts, including where those have been successful, and where there is opportunity to improve.
The CommunityFood webinar highlights themes in innovation emerging among community-based organizations across Indian Country, rural communities, and cities across America and features two organizations who exemplify this evolution in food systems change-making.
The Local Food Movement
These trainings are designed for organizations that provide farmer support and technical assistance, such as incubator farms, producer groups, food hubs, and extensionists.. The objective of the program is to strengthen capacities of professionals working with small-scale farmer on food safety compliance and counsel them on adoption on appropriate food safety certifications options, including GroupGAP. There is great power in properly maintained and used financial records. This webinar series is key to unlocking that power.
Basic book keeping and financial management acumen is necessary to recognize patterns and key ratios that enable food hub operators to make smarter, more effective operational decisions. Participants in this beginner-friendly, multi-part financial webinar series, led by representatives from Farm Credit, will learn how to effectively manage, format and attribute financial reports, including the common chart of accounts, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and cash flow statements.
On first blush, seafood seems quite different from our other food. Fishing is the last domain where most of the supply is hunted, rather than cultivated. Furthermore, we consume a much wider variety of aquatic animal species than terrestrial ones. And yet so many of the lessons sustainable food systems promoters have learned apply to seafood as well - small scale tends to mean lower impact, local and short value chains increase the rewards to careful stewards of resources, and geography matters.
This webinar will examine how large-scale fishing compromises the environment, the return to traditional methods, the value of fishing certifications, and a truly innovative and sustainable approach to seafood farming. It will connect the problems and solutions of "landfood" with our other, often forgotten, source of food- the sea. As food hubs strive to reach volumes which enable financial viability, they will often need to innovate - to take chances on new markets, products and approaches.
This webinar presents three "roads not yet taken" that your hub or a hub you work with may encounter. Each road has the possibility of great success, but has potholes to avoid some big enough to lose the whole business in. Tera Johnson is successful food entrepreneur and university lecturer who founded the Food Finance Institute at University of Wisconsin. She will take you on a journey through these three archetypal hub business decision points, and advise how to manage for success.
Drawing from her own experience, as well as premier industry data, Tera will present a big picture view of: adding a frozen product line, adding a new distribution channel, and taking on a very large customer. One of the many consumer interests in local food is that without having to travel s of miles, local food can be fresher. This webinar presents two approaches to solving this complicated logistical puzzle. One program is managed by a food hub, working with a retailer with whom they have built a strong relationship. The other program is managed by the retail chain itself. You'll learn many of the details of these projects, including each company's thinking about if Direct Store Delivery DSD is worth the complexity.
You will also learn some of the challenges that these programs have overcome, and some that still remain. Small farmers are feeling the pressure to get third-party certified as more buyers are requiring GAP certification, and as the Food Safety Modernization Act FSMA puts them under new regulatory oversight. In GroupGAP, a food hub, support organization, or central business entity collaborates with producers to establish site-specific best practices for complying with a food safety standard.
The Real Food Movement | The Art of Simple
The group develops and implements a quality management system QMS built to an international standard that can be measured, analyzed, reviewed, and continually improved. Hear the experience of a few of the trailblazers - Groups who have already received GroupGAP certification. Why did they seek this certification? How much did it cost? Will they keep up their certification next year? What supports are available? What makes group a good candidate for GroupGAP? What happens if one farmer does not pass an audit? What is the state of the food hub across the country in ?
Are hubs profitable? Is the local food market growing as much as people say? What are the economic, social and environmental impacts of hubs? What are food hubs concerned about, and what are their perceived barriers to growth?
- New Maps of Hell (Penguin Modern Classics)!
- The Real Food Movement.
- Eat-onomics: The Ten Most Inspiring People in Sustainable Food.
Learn from an in-depth survey that a significant number of US food hubs contributed to. Looking at "imperfects" from the farmer's perspective, this first phase of their research explores realities on the farm and in the marketplace for fruit and veggies that go beyond beauty. The webinar begins with a statement of the issue, including some details like why there are imperfections in produce, rates of imperfections, as well as a sense for what growers in Minnesota do with this produce right now.
The webinar concludes with ideas for bringing such product to market efficiently and policy recommendations. The Affordable Care Act updated legal requirements for nonprofit hospitals, mandating them to invest significantly more money in communities to address health disparities, promote population health, and emphasize preventive care services. This webinar will teach you about the legal provisions requiring nonprofit hospitals to invest in their communities.
With that as a starting point, you will learn how your Good Food business or Good Food support organization might tap into this large stream of funding. Several examples of communities who have worked in partnership with their local hospitals will illustrate how this partnership works in practice. This session provides a straightforward financial tool for making informed decisions and budgeting for the future. Making decisions that make good financial sense is difficult. But difficult decisions become a whole lot easier when you have the right tool to walk you through the financial implications of your decision.
Learn how this powerfully simple tool can help your business today All businesses have systems. At some point in its development, it makes excellent business sense to document those systems - as the number of employees grow, the sophistication of the business grows, or even as key employees start to think of moving on.
Although there is no "magic bullet" for making your business efficient and reducing risk, formalizing and documenting the jobs and operations the business performs has been shown time and again to have those effects. From faster training of new hires, to decreasing costly errors, to increasing overall quality ensuring happy customers! Moreover, employees have a sense of confidence, each knowing their jobs, and the workings of the business they need to attend to. This webinar will introduce how one might incorporate systems to bring your food business to the next level of sophistication, and efficiency.
Following an introduction to systems, systems thinking, and its application to business, we will hear two very different case studies to get you thinking of the wide variety of applications. One case study explores achieving third-party food safety certification, the other dives deeply into systematizing employee training. Michael Shuman, author of The Local Economy Solution Chelsea Green, , argues that these enterprises are the keystone of sustainable economic development. The current mainstream means to community economic development is to attract large corporate chains to build and stay.
Shuman argues that this paradigm is fundamentally misguided, because it overlooks the power and efficiency of locally owned small business. A growing body of evidence underscores that locally owned business can deliver far more economic-development impact—jobs, income, wealth, taxes—than global corporations at a lower cost. Pollinators carry out all of the basic functions of economic development that are taken on by typical, taxpayer-funded programs, including planning, entrepreneurship training, business partnerships, local purchasing, and local investing.
The book illustrates the clout of pollinators through 28 case studies, many of which focus on development of local food businesses. In this webinar, Shuman will delve deep into this transformational idea on sustainable economic development through food and other businesses, sharing some of the best models of food-related pollinators. Linda Best, founder of FarmWorks, a local-food investment fund in Nova Scotia, will present an in-depth case study of one of these models.
Crop insurance is a critical part of a comprehensive risk management strategy. Matching operations with crop insurance options is important. In addition, identifying and matching a farm's overall business goals to other insurance tools is an important step in the growth and sustainability of the operation. Learn about crop insurance options, what it means to be in an insurance contract, how to think about the best options for your farm, or the farms that you advise and work with.
Hear farmers from different regions of the country talk about their experiences - the good and bad - of selling through their local food hub. Learn how they chose to start selling to the hub, why, what the hub demands of them, what they get in return, how they are managing risks, and how their business' bottom line has been affected.
March 19, The Million Dollar Question: What is break-even and viability for different food hub models? How much volume does it take for a food hub to be a viable business? Food hub managers, funders, support organizations, economic development commissions, planners, and investors are all asking this same question! On one hand, this is an impossible question to answer with a single number since there are diverse food hub models and management structures. And context matters: the region of the country, urban vs. This webinar gives you the tools to do your own analysis for your particular hub. By using an approach based on hypothetical hubs, we can see how the finances change as we adjust certain parameters.
Two of the best respected thinkers on US food hubs will give you the tools to do your own analysis of food hub viability. It grew to nearly one million dollars in annual sales of local farm products, before closing its doors in December of Grasshoppers underwent many transitions within its lifetime including changes in business model and leadership. They were true pioneers in promoting and providing regionally produced foods in Kentucky. They opened their doors just before the onset of the Great Recession, and adapted to new challenges and opportunities as public interest in local food expanded.
Grasshoppers forged a new path to the unique opportunities and challenges in regional food system development. Facilitating value chain development without costly new infrastructure. Let's face it: food hubs are sexy! So are other Good Food infrastructure projects, such as region-scaled meat processing plants. And for good reason: these businesses are often filling gaps or bottlenecks in regional and local food systems. However, sometimes it's not a LACK of infrastructure that leads to bottlenecks; it is incomplete or inefficient USE of the infrastructure that stymies the system.
They ensure the right people, goods and resources connect with each other. Most often value chain coordinators work outside day-to-day business operations, a vantage point that offers a unique perspective on the optimal solutions in a regional market. This expanded webinar dives deep into the approaches people across the country are taking to improve the food system without costly new infrastructure.
Food Hubs are delivering on their promise of enabling identity-preserved, primarily local and regional food to enter the wholesale market, enabling small and mid-sized farms access to buyers that would otherwise be unattainable. But aggregation and distribution of food is a very thin-margin business, and hubs take on additional expense working with smaller farmers, providing technical assistance, and other grower and community services. Are food hubs able to support themselves with their operations?
What are industry-standard financial and operational benchmarks for food hub businesses? The pilot study showed good promise for our methodology, and this year's study has several times the number of participants, giving us a much better picture of how food hubs operate. This webinar describes the lessons learned from the recent benchmarking study of food hub financial and operational characteristics. The presentation highlights how successful food hubs across the nation have achieved their mission and goals through financial and business metrics.
Several institutional cafeterias and mid-priced restaurants are using clever techniques to source substantial amounts of local food, while maintaining their own affordability and profitability. Prioritizing local food while keeping costs reasonable is part art, and part science. This webinar honors that by illustrating some of the art with case studies, while presenting the 'science' in the form of a new tool. We will step you through how and why to use this tool.
One major expense of food hubs and many other Good Food businesses, including farms is vehicles. How do you decide whether to lease or own? There are many expenses including repair, resale value, potential lost business due to malfunction, typical delivery miles, frequency of delivery, garage fees, etc How do you weigh all of the financials in a clear way? Farm Credit of the Virginias and Farm Credit Council will present their tool that will give you a definitive financial answer to that question.
Though it may seem counter intuitive, there are many cases where this option is the most reliable, and the most cost effective solution. Dennis Derryck of Corbin Hill Food Project, relates their story of trying all three options, and found great efficiencies, including monetary, using a third-party logistics company. This webinar takes you through theory and practice of making the right decision for your business. Good Food businesses are complicated. There are many types of exchanges that a business must track accurately, including money, food, plans, etc.
And there are a large number of constituents that need to these goods or information - growers, buyers, consumers, drivers, and warehouse personnel to name a few. In the 21st century, we must use software to ensure all pieces of our business are accurately served. But how do you choose the right technology to help run your business?
A solution that does not fit your business could well cost a lot of money, and worse, lost productivity. The first step in choosing the right solution is a deep understanding of your own business. With the right analysis you can make technology choices with greater speed, and with confidence. This webinar gives you the tools to perform an accurate analysis of your business technology needs. Although the presentation focuses on food hubs arguably one of the more complicated Good Food businesses, as a "middle man" interacting with all pieces of the food system , the same theories apply to ALL businesses.
In Austin, Texas a group of folks hungry for local food have cracked the code to access capital — looking to the community. Using a cooperative model they are continuing to innovate. Starting with the knowledge gained from such ventures as a co-op grocer, their success led them to experiment with opening a co-op brew pub. This venture has been another striking success, and are now working to open a cooperative food hub. By leveraging the dollars from the community, they have been able to finance the start-up and beginning operations of innovative co-ops. Hear what the organizers of these businesses believe to be the secrets to their success, and some suggestions on how you might consider financing your planned operation in this way.
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