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Food Forward MI: Farm to Institution: A Supply Chain Opportunity (Part 2)

This is part two of a two part series. To read part one, click here. Regional economic partnership can build a local, healthy food supply chain ______________________________________ “The challenge in expanding the local food systems is to match the cost and convenience of customary distributors.” ______________________________________ Across Michigan through partnership support from philanthropic, health, academic,...

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Food Forward MI: Farm to Institution: A Supply Chain Opportunity – Part 1

This is part one of a two-part series. How does local go mainstream? _____________________________________ “While some thought it was passing fancy, this movement is clearly not just for hipster foodies desiring an authentic experience.” _____________________________________ “Growing Community,” “Know Your Farmer,” “Taste the Local Difference” and many other tag lines are helping build public awareness by...

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Food Forward MI: Farm to School

__________________________________________________________________ “Combating childhood obesity, diabetes and other nutrition related disease can start in the classroom and extend to the family as students are educated and then empowered to make healthy food choices.” __________________________________________________________________ Rewind to 2015’s Where Food Access and Community Development Merge post, we reiterate that a community food system isn’t just about connecting...

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Food Forward MI: Agriculture Workforce Development

Written by Mary ZumBrunnen, CEO of One-Community Consulting ________________________________________________________________________________________ “…the gap between available talent and labor needed is expected to grow significantly over the next few decades. Once again, Michigan is at a crossroads of opportunity.” ________________________________________________________________________________________ Michigan is currently seeing a decline in small and mid-sized farms across the state. This trend has negatively impacted the state’s...

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Food Forward MI: Food Innovation Districts

____________________________________________________________________________________ “Michigan has tremendous opportunity to grow our health and economy while maintaining ecological diversity and cultural heritage.” ____________________________________________________________________________________ “A food innovation district is a geographic concentration of food-oriented businesses, services and community activities that local governments support through planning and economic development initiatives in order to promote a positive business environment, spur regional food...

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Food Forward MI: Food Sovereignty and Governance

Over the last few decades as food inputs and sourcing is of increasing interest to consumers and “buy local” campaigns grow more main stream, the idea of food sovereignty and governance frequently comes up. Who controls our food, food decision making and rights? Nationally, a rare bi-partisan compromise has helped move forward the Healthy Hunger-Free...

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Food Forward MI: Food Hubs Expanding Local Food Access

Written by Mary ZumBrunnen, Director of Talent & New Market Initiatives at Prima Civitas Typically triple bottom line businesses, food hubs are an increasingly economically viable piece of the supply chain puzzle as size-appropriate connections in local food systems. Co-chair of the Michigan Food Hub Network and Senior Associate Director of the Michigan State University (MSU)...

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Food Forward MI: Where Food Access and Community Development Merge

A community food system isn’t just about connecting local growers to a farm market or boosting seasonal tourism. Everyone has a stake in community. Not only do we all eat, which affects our health and well-being, but we must purchase that food thereby contributing to our local economy. Food also transcends our culture and brings...

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Food Forward MI: An Introduction

Daily we hear that demand for fresh water, energy and food are rising. This causes many great concern and at times a sense of hopelessness, as media digestion can leave us reaching for antacids. A Growing Crisis: Food and Energy Shortages According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, across the globe,...