How we’ll get to 10% local
We are basing our plan on the idea that a vibrant local food economy needs more than just farmers and farmland, as important as those are. In addition to production, we need food infrastructure, organizational support, and, of course, demand. Our plan calls for a comprehensive, adaptive, and project-based approach to building these elements as our local food economy grows and as they become necessary.
For example, we see an immediate role for the Foodshed Project in supporting the already-established and well-run Fort Collins farmers markets. One way we can do so is by working with all community stakeholders to plan and raise funds for a permanent structure for the downtown markets. Another is to improve coordination and communication among all regional farmers markets.
On the other hand, a local food aggregation and value-added facility, also known as a food hub, will take more planning and time. Food hubs can be tremendous contributors to local food economy growth but they also must be carefully tailored to meet the needs of the farmer and consumer community. We may also need to first grow local production and demand.
We can look to other regions as examples for what to develop, and when. We also have tremendous knowledge and experience right here, from organizations like The Growing Project and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union to institutions like Colorado State University and our local government.
Other examples of what will be developed when the time is right:
- Farm incubator
- Multi-farm CSA
- Meat locker
- Community gardens
- Public education programs
- Many other possibilities!