Center for Environmental Farming Systems Releases Community and Local Government Guide to Developing Local Food Systems
RALEIGH, May 31, 2013: The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) has released a new guide entitled A Community and Local Government Guide to Developing Local Food Systems in North Carolina. The guide is intended to help communities and local governments realize the benefits of creating and supporting local food systems in their areas. In addition to economic development and job creation, these include better health outcomes due to increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables, land and farmer preservation, and more.
The guide focuses on land use and planning issues that arise as elected officials, town managers, Cooperative Extension agents, and community leaders work together to establish local food systems in their communities.
The guide also provides guidance on collaborating for growth in local food systems, including advice on creating a local food policy council, conducting a local food systems assessment, and incorporating local food systems into economic development strategies.
“The need for this guide has become apparent over the last few years as more local governments see the value in developing local food systems for their communities and regions. We are excited to provide this resource and the tools that might allow them to take advantage of this growing opportunity,” says Nancy Creamer, CEFS Co-Director from NC State University.
Adds John O’Sullivan, CEFS Co-Director from NC A&T State University, “Community members, Extension educators and county officials across the state will find this guide very useful. It offers practical advice on many of the topics related to building and supporting local food systems in North Carolina.”
The guide also provides ideas and resources for growing an area’s “local food economy”, including supporting farmers markets, roadside stands and mobile markets; increasing local foods in groceries, convenience store, and corner markets; establishing more community gardens; supporting urban agriculture; repurposing vacant, publicly-owned land for food production, processing, distribution, and sales; and increasing agritourism.
To download the report, go to http://www.cefs.ncsu.edu/publications/guide-to-developing-local-food-systems-in-nc.pdf
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) is a partnership of North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. CEFS’ mission is to develop and promote food and farming systems that protect the environment, strengthen local communities, and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond.