Over the last several weeks we’ve had the opportunity to sit down and chat with an exciting array of discussion catalysts who will be joining us for Transparency, Collaboration & Shared Value in Local Food Economies – November 7-9 in Ann Arbor.
The diversity of perspectives from these interviews is a testament to the growth of the local food system, and illustrates how important it is to bring together everyone in the local food supply chain. When we collaborate, we create new ideas and pathways to grow the entire system. And this is exactly what our November workshop is about!
“Local food procurement takes time, engagement and willingness to learn. The rewards are quality food, economic impact in their community, and a powerful story to tell.” – Kymm Mutch
To Scale Up Local Food Collaborate, Compete, and Network: Four Questions for Dan Hobbs, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union
“Competition raises the bar for business professionalism, quality control, development of product and market differentiation” – Dan Hobbs
A Retail Food Hub Connecting Producers to Consumers and Increasing Local Supply: Six Questions for Kathy Sample and Bill Brinkerhoff, Argus Farm Stop
“By creating awareness of what is available, and expanding the options for local consumers, the impact of local farms becomes clearer to the consumer.” – Kathy Sample
The Evolution of Institutional Local Food Procurement: Four Questions for Larry Schuler, Shu’s Hospitality
“I advise looking where your customer is now and where they’re going in terms of palate demands. Don’t think about the now, think ahead. The next 5 years are going to be a big opportunity for regional foods.” – Larry Schuler
Networks and Food Hubs Help Local Producers Scale Up: Four Questions for Vicki Zilke of Zilke Vegetable Farm
“Food hubs are an essential piece in the local food movement, as they are matching demand to the supply. I do not have to contact each buyer individually each week and extract an order; nor do I have to make multiple deliveries.” – Vicki Zilke
“Through our work supporting local supply chains, we see the need for deeper collaboration and strategic exploration among suppliers, logistics providers and foodservice operators who don’t generally connect outside of conventional procurement processes.” – Erika Block, CEO and Founder, Local Orbit