Transition Colorado is catalyzing food localization through the Local Food Shift Campaign. We are working to help shift our food and farming system—our foodshed—towards significantly increased production and consumption of locally-grown, locally-produced, and locally-sourced foods. Regionally, this will ultimately create thousands of new jobs and shift hundreds of millions of dollars into the local food economy.
The Local Food Shift campaign has set a goal of 25% food localization in Boulder County over the next decade—which means increasing both production capacity and consumer demand, as well as rebuilding the local foodshed infrastructure. We need your help to achieve this.
Here are some of the ways you can be involved:
Support the 10% Local Food Pledge
As a step towards food localization, we’re encouraging everyone—individuals, families, and businesses—to devote up to 10% of their food budget to locally-sourced food, and we’ve set up an easy-to-use online system to help us reach our goal of 1,000 people in Boulder County taking the Pledge in 2012—which will shift about $1,000,000 into the local food economy! The system is also now available to be implemented in other communities.
Participate in events during Local Food Month (August 2012)
We are inviting Front Range communities to join us in promoting local food during the month of August, and encouraging everyone to join us for the Tour de Coops, the Bicycle Tour de Farms, a host of presentations and workshops (including rainwater harvesting, Permaculture), film screenings, farm dinners, potlucks, and special restaurant dinners. Individuals, families, employers, organizations and institutions are invited to dine out at any of the many fine restaurants sourcing locally, shop for local food, attend featured community events, visit farmers’ markets, get to know a farmer, throw an all-local dinner party, or simply make special home-cooked meals using local foods and beverages.
Participate in the Grant Family Farms “Harvestival” (Oct. 6 − 7)
For several years, the beautiful Grant Family Farms in Wellington has hosted a spectacular “Harvestival” event featuring two days of music, speakers, workshops, exhibit booths, food, beer and wine garden, and fun activities for the kids. This year Transition Colorado is sponsoring the Harvestival, celebrating the delights and benefits of locally-grown and locally-processed food, featuring local family farms and farmers’ markets, along with the outstanding restaurants, grocers, distributors, processors, and the many individuals and organizations who support them. The Harvestival is an opportunity for the Front Range community to discover local food sources, to meet local food growers, to become more involved in the local food and farming movement, to experience the pleasures of fresh local organic food, and to feel what it’s like to be connected to the local foodshed and discover a deeper sense of community.
Invest in local food and farming enterprises
Through our business organization, Localization Partners LLC, we are catalyzing and managing investments in the businesses and entrepreneurs that are needed to rebuild the local foodshed economy—including farms, value-added processors, distributors, food hubs, and marketers. We’re also working with Slow Money Colorado to provide sustainable food and farming businesses access to capital in the form of low-interest loans and appropriate equity investments. The Slow Money Investment Club #1, which recently formed and is seeking additional members, can be a great way to pool resources, minimize the risk of investing, and maximize the benefit of bringing together many educated individuals, providing education, camaraderie and buying power, plus the confidence of knowing you don’t have to go it alone.
Interact online at LocalFoodShift.com
The online flagship of the Local Food Shift campaign, LocalFoodShift.com will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Boulder County Farmers’ Markets, and will feature provocative and informative articles on the burgeoning local food movement, as well as stories about the local food and farming scene, along with the most comprehensive directory of local food producers and the restaurants, grocers, organizations and educational institutions that support them. The website also creates a sustained presence for our advertisers and sponsors (directory listings are free).
Participate in “Thinking Like a Foodshed” conversations and events
Transition Colorado will be hosting conversations with key stakeholders in the Front Range foodshed at our booth at the Boulder County Farmers’ Markets throughout the summer. You are welcome to join in! We’ll also be hosting presentations and panel discussions on local foodshed topics at locations throughout the community, including at farms, restaurants, and retail grocers. These events will be recorded, and the content will form the basis for online stories and will guide the development of a Front Range Food Localization Plan. Watch for these on our Events Calendar at LocalFoodShift.com, or subscribe to our newsletter.
Bring the Local Food Shift to Your Front Range community!
Across the country, communities are beginning to understand the profound economic, environmental and social benefits of increasing both production and consumption of fresh, locally-grown food. A study of Colorado by economist Michael Shuman revealed that 25% food localization could result in 31,000 new jobs by 2020—and more than $2 billion in additional state GDP each year! The Local Food Shift campaign is designed to empower communities to marshall their efforts in beginning to shift their food systems towards the local. If you would like to introduce the 10% Pledge and the Local Food Shift campaign in your community, we are ready to help! Just drop us a note (LM@TransitionColorado.org), and our team will be in touch with you directly.
Patronize our sponsors and supporters
Sponsorships are the primary source of support for the Local Food Shift campaign, enabling us to build support for locally-grown and locally-sourced food among the largest possible audience. Sponsoring companies and organizations are strongly represented throughout the Local Food Shift campaign—with their brands and messages reaching thousands of people throughout the county. Our menu of sponsorship opportunities provides multiple levels of visibility-raising and community-engagement benefits.