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Front cover of state action guide

Released April 21, 2010: From Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolina's Sustainable Local Food Economy
(.pdf; opens in new window)

N.C. Moves Forward to Champion Local Food Economy, January 27, 2010 (.pdf; opens in new window)


Dr. Nancy Creamer
CEFS Director, N.C. State University
Department of Horticultural Science
224 Kilgore Hall, Box 7609
Raleigh, NC  27695
(919) 515-9447

Jennifer Curtis
Project Director, NC Choices
102 Pine St.
Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) 967-0014

What You Can Do

Join the Local Foods Action Plan Listserv. Receive more information about the project, policy forums, summit, etc.

Help us build a database of NC food system projects. If you or your organization is engaged in a food systems project, please take a minute to fill out the attached contact information sheet describing the nature of the work you or your organization does. This information will be included in a data base for all participants, and may also result in further interviews by the project team. Download a Contact Information Form as a .pdf or .doc file and send it to Nancy Creamer at

Please share this information with others who may be interested in becoming involved with this project. Download a copy of "Building a Sustainable Local Food Economy in North Carolina: From Farm-to-Fork" as a .pdf or .doc file.

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Local Foods Statewide Initiative

CEFS Launches Statewide Initiative:
Building a Sustainable Local Food Economy
in North Carolina, from Farm to Fork

Over the past year, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems has been funded to reach out across the state and together with our partners ask: What will it take to build a sustainable local food economy in North Carolina?

From the mountains to the coast, various organizations are promoting and implementing exciting initiatives to support our state and communities through sustainable local agriculture. Examples include new farmer’s markets, local food policy councils, comprehensive county- or region-based food initiatives, farm incubator programs, community gardens, youth education programs, health and nutrition projects focused on local sustainable foods, procurement initiatives by large retail and institutional buyers and schools, and much more.

If every North Carolinian dedicated just 10 percent of their food purchases—or a little over a dollar a day—to local foods, it would raise $3.5 billion for the local economy. That money circulates here in the state and has a multiplier effect locally, rather than going to a corporate headquarters in another state.

Other benefits of a sustainable local food economy in North Carolina include

Over the past year, CEFS and its partners gathered information from across food system sectors, conducted regional meetings, facilitated targeted working issue teams, and hosted a statewide summit in May 2009. The outcome of this process will be a Statewide Action Guide for Building a Sustainable Local Food Economy in North Carolina with action ideas for policy makers, educational institutions, government agencies, environmentalists, businesses, funding agencies, social activists, NGOs, community members and consumers. To read more about the statewide initiative, including the summit, please visit the CEFS Farm to Fork Web site (opens in new window).

The purpose of the regional meetings and summit was to bring together those engaged in all aspects of the food system, to collect information and ideas to form the building blocks of discussion at the summit and eventually the core components of the State Action Guide. We wanted to identify specific regional and local sustainable food systems models that are working and also challenges that can be addressed through policy, programs, and funding. We seek to engage the broad group of those involved with the food system, including farmers, suppliers, processors, economic development organizations, distributors, farm and food industry workers, extension and other educators, marketers, financial institutions, Universities and community colleges, elected officials, government agencies, county and city planners, farm organizations, anti-poverty organizers, social justice workers, consumers and consumer groups, granting agencies, health and wellness organizations, environmental groups, food banks, and more. The State Action Guide is currently under development with an anticipated release in December 2009. The Guide will

[APRIL 21, 2010 UPDATE: The State Action Guide has been released! Please see "News" box above for a link to the .pdf version!]