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Reinventing the Local Food Economy

Reinventing the Local Food Economy

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Reinventing the Local Food Economy

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  1. Reinventing the Local Food Economy The Appalachian Center for Economic Networks is a regional entrepreneurship and economic development organization (501c3) located in Athens, Ohio. ACEnet builds the capacity of communities to network, work together and innovate to create a dynamic, sustainable regional economy with opportunities for all.

  2. Where We Work Primary Service Area Appalachia Counties Clients also come from other parts of Ohio and adjacent states

  3. ACEnet Strategies • Training & technical assistance • Business incubation & infrastructure development • Access to capital services, partnerships & referrals • Capacity building through product innovation, branding & adoption of technology

  4. At the crossroads of local food economies New Economic Opportunities Food Security for All Environmental Sustainability

  5. Farms & Foodways Food & farm microenterprises are part of our heritage—High concentration of organic producers

  6. Community Gardeners Athens Westside Garden grow from 60 to 121 gardeners in 2008

  7. Long Tradition of Markets Athens Farmers Market over 37 years old

  8. Assets: Pastured Meats & Dairy

  9. Food Sector Development

  10. Kitchen Incubator Stakeholders-Tenants • Produce farmer creating value-added products • Restaurants creating signature, commercial products • Caterers needing on-premise event space • Push cart or kiosk vendors needing licensed food prep • Home-based food businesses transitioning to legitimacy • New low & moderate income food entrepreneurs • Expanding micro-processors, bakeries, restaurants • Farm marketers needing packing, storage & distribution

  11. Tenants– Many Start-ups High percentage Women or Family Owned & Operated

  12. Tenants– Many Start-ups Assists minority owned & operated microenterprises

  13. Foodservice & Personal Chefs

  14. Opportunities for Farmers • Farmers can use excess or seconds for value-added products • Value-added products provide year-round cash/flow • Commercial shelf-stable products can expand direct marketing opportunities and open doors to wholesale placement • Product lines strengthen farm brand • Product quality competitive for freshness and small batches

  15. Livestock Farmer Advantages Move from direct to some wholesale accounts

  16. Farmer Advantages Lots of tomatoes to save from being plowed under Public Market Convening – March 05

  17. Farmer Advantages

  18. Creating Products – Farmers Markets • Collaborative kitchen allows for easier foodservice operations • Fresh, chopped and refrigerated prepared foods can be legally produced • Can increase diversity of products & entrepreneurs • Can attract more low-income food entrepreneurs with ethnic or heritage foods

  19. Market Vendors Extend Season

  20. Advantages for Community Gardeners Athens Community Garden Plot start a Pesto Business

  21. Advantages for Restaurants Commercial products for sale in restaurant & wholesale

  22. Regional Assessment Process? • Assess community and regional sites for food & farm incubation • Determine site selection criteria • Inventory existing licensed or adaptable facility locations • Create models customized to the character and assets of place • Identify funding opportunities • Identify market partners and niche opportunities • Harness existing private and public resources

  23. Food Ventures Center • Timeline Highlights • 1992-95 Raise funding for facility • 1993-on Develop services & programming for food & farm entrepreneurs • Close on property – begin renovation • Open FV Center April 1996 • Start raising funds for expansion • Facility expansion complete • 2004 Seafood HACCP & ODA Meat license Funding Partners USDA – Rural Development EDA – Dept of Commerce Ohio Dept. of Agriculture Local Bank Loans

  24. Processing & Distribution Approximately 90 tenants in Food Ventures --farmers, specialty food & foodservice businesses

  25. Food Ventures Center • Facility Specs • 12,000 sq ft shared facility • 10 offices • 3 loading docks • Shipping and receiving • Conference and training room • Retail space • Storage for dry, refrigerated & frozen goods • Reception, fax, copier, computers

  26. Types of Operations & Licenses • Bakery operations • Thermal processing • Foodservice • Frozen food • Dry packaging • Pasta production • ODA meat license • Seafood processing • Warehousing

  27. Shared-use Central Kitchen

  28. Bakery Operations

  29. Ingredient Prep & Processing

  30. Thermal Processing

  31. Frozen Foods

  32. Meat Cutting & Value-adding Ohio Department of Agriculture Meat License allows for product licensing of products with meat as main ingredient

  33. Catering Enterprises

  34. Dry Mixes & Packaging

  35. Production & Processing Training Cheese making Workshop with Chris

  36. Warehousing and Distribution Secured storage & walk-ins

  37. Docks for Distributors and Delivery

  38. WHY? Economic Impacts!

  39. Trend Opportunities • Buy Local, Buy Fresh ---- Branding • Local is the new organic • Exponential growth of farmers markets • Celebrating Rural –Regional Flavor • Country is Re-examining our values • Foodies and ‘locavores’ spread the word • $$$ for infrastructure on the way

  40. Processors use Local Ingredients

  41. Thermally-processed Products

  42. Creating Niche Products

  43. Using the Web Effectively Building national markets & area recognition

  44. Regional & National Markets Now in 750 stores Growth firm sells throughout the US & since summer 2008 – 5 countries

  45. Regional Food Branding Ads, inserts & demos

  46. Significant Sales

  47. Store Demos build Brand Meet the producers in the Kroger aisle

  48. Over 50 local products lines in produce, dairy, meat and shelf-stable products Athens Kroger

  49. Heritage Foods become Products Pawpaw designated Ohio’s native fruit

  50. Local Food Economy Story www.businessremixed.com