The economic model for the U.S. food and agricultural industry has evolved into one which is often predicated on scale, technology and serving large enterprises and global markets. While this model serves many contexts, a natural casualty of that evolution is the formerly close connection of local or regional food enterprises within their communities. This stunts growth for local farmers who cannot enter the market and fails to match of local needs with a local freshly-available resource.
What can be done?
By recreating the local and regional food systems to reflect 21st-century advances, local farmers can enhance existing and emerging regional food system initiatives and offer their communities options for safer and healthier foods.
How Food Commons is meeting the challenge:
The Food Commons model is a networked system of physical, financial and organizational infrastructure that allows new local and regional markets to operate efficiently, and small to mid-sized food enterprises – from farms to processors, distributors, and retailers – to compete and thrive according to principles of sustainability, fairness, and public accountability. This system can revitalize and ensure the continuity of small and mid- sized family farms that steward the land, nourish our communities and our health, and comprise the fundamental building blocks of local and national food security.