An Oregon State University Food Systems Expert has helped co-author a new book on regional food systems, how it can impact the local economy and how they can be helped to thrive.
Lauren Gwin said the interest level in locally grown is exploding.
“There’s increased consumer demand in these kinds of foods. There’s know your farmer ideas, buying direct from farmers whether it’s at a farmers market or you go to a restaurant and the farmer’s on the menu. There’s all this interest in how food is grown, how animals are raised, what the supply chain looks like.”
The book, Gwin noted, is an opportunity to do a reflection, nationally, on what’s working, how things can be improved and how to progress into the future.
Gwin said they look at the big questions, how to understand risk, how to fund the systems, and what anyone who’s interested needs to know.
“Local and regional food system development can be really valuable for rural areas in terms of infrastructure investment, job creation and a number of other things. We need to do it in a way that it’s going to be durable and we’re not creating things that aren’t going to meet their full potential because they weren’t designed in the right way.”
The book address opportunities and challenges to developing regional food systems, including communities’ need for access to capital and technical assistance, as well as opportunities posed by forging creative partnerships among banks, nonprofits, farmers, other businesses and government.
You can download a copy of the book here.
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