Golden LEAF supports NC's 10% campaign promoting locally grown food
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Posted by: Cindy Verity
In roughly 18 months, participants in
North Carolina's 10% Campaign have recorded over $10 million in
purchases of locally-produced foods.
The 10% Campaign is a statewide effort of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems http://www.cefs.ncsu.edu/to stimulate economic development, create jobs and promote North Carolina’s farms and fisheries.
More than 4,400 individuals and 427
businesses, including 72 restaurants, have signed on to the campaign
through the website –http://www.nc10percent.com/—
pledging to spend 10 percent of their food budget on locally-sourced
foods. Each week, participants receive an e-mail prompting them to
record the amount spent on local food that week.
Launched in July 2010 in partnership with North Carolina Cooperative Extension http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=localfoodsand with funding from Golden LEAF http://www.goldenleaf.org/about.html,the
10% Campaign has generated support across the state. At its one-year
anniversary in July, the campaign reported expenditures of $5.7 million.
Since that time, the dollars recorded on the site have nearly doubled
to more than $10 million.
"Golden LEAF is proud to support the 10% Campaign,
which benefits North Carolina farmers and fishermen and helps grow our
state’s economy,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. "The $10
million mark is a true testament to the commitment of our agricultural
community and the quality of North Carolina-grown products.”
The campaign was a game-changer idea from
the Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ 2009 initiative, "From
Farm-to-Fork: Building North Carolina’s Local Food Economy,” that
included several action items for building North Carolina’s sustainable,
local food system. The idea is that if all North Carolinians spent 10
percent of their food dollars on locally produced food, $3.5 billion
would be available in the state’s economy.
Much of the campaign’s success can be
attributed directly to its wide spectrum of partners. Among those
pledging to spend 10 percent on local food are locally-owned businesses
and community organizations including 76 restaurants; hospitals and
medical centers; universities and colleges; and thousands of
The campaign also encourages individuals to seek out and enjoy
farm products from its farmers’ network across the state.
North Carolina Cooperative Extension has
partnered with the campaign as well. In all the state’s 100 counties and
the Qualla Boundary of the Cherokee Nation, Extension agents designated
as local food coordinators support the campaign by making connections
between consumers, community businesses and local food producers.
Cooperative Extension also hosts many public events and workshops in
support of the campaign and local foods programs.
"The local food coordinators with
Cooperative Extension provide a valuable link between their communities
and farmers, as well as the local governments” said Campaign Manager
Teisha Wymore. "We wouldn’t be where we are without them.”
Local governments, organizations and
businesses may support the campaign in three ways: By pledging to spend
10 percent of their food budget on local foods; by encouraging their
employees to join; or by promoting the campaign on a website, through
email or through public events.
Brunswick, Cabarrus, Chatham, Guilford,
Forsyth, Onslow and Rockingham counties have adopted resolutions in
support of the campaign. In addition, Goldsboro, Southport and the Town
of Knightdale have also joined the campaign.
Buy-local food labels are making it easier for consumers to
identify and choose North Carolina food products. Large-scale food
purchasers participating in the campaign include Centerplatehospitality,
serving the RaleighConvention Center and the Progress Energy Center for
the Performing Arts; and the campus dining services at North Carolina
Agriculture and Technical State University
Health Care facilities like Pender
Memorial Hospital and New Hanover Medical Center have committed their
support by hosting employee farmers markets and serving fresh, local
foods in their cafeterias.
"Developing and maintaining partnerships are
pivotal to the campaign’s success. ” saidWymore. "These partnerships
encourage consumers to look for local brands, support our business
partners, foster viable farming communities and help the campaign track
demand for local foods. We’re proud of our first year.”
Individuals and businesses can sign up http://www.ncsu.edu/project/nc10percent/index.phpfor
the campaign directly on the website and track their spending and
growing power on a weekly basis through an online interactive dashboard.
The 10% Campaign website also has a
number of resources, including an online directory of organizations
working to help consumers find farmers and sources of locally grown