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Top findings about a 25% shift to local foods in Northeast Ohio

Jenita  |  11/16/10 @ 3:21pm

A coalition of non-profit organizations is developing a soon-to-be-released Northeast Ohio Local Food Assessment and Plan. At a pre-release event at the Levin College of Urban Affaris on Saturday, the consultant team (Michael Shuman, Leslie Schaller and Brad Masi) presented a summary of their findings and recommendations. The major goal of the Northeast Ohio Local Food Assessment and Plan is to create a significant economic development strategy for the region based on the production, processing, and distribution of local food. Michael Shuman's presentation on Saturday focused on the economic impacts to Northeast Ohio that a 25% shift to local foods over ten years would deliver. His top ten findings:   1. We're #2 and we try harder. Shuman cited Sustain Lane's 2008 ranking of Cleveland as #2 in Local Foods   2. Amazing Diversity of soils and growing potential   3. Local Demand would exceed supply of local food with a 25% shift   4. Local food is increasingly competitive with conventional foods. Mainly because people value more than just price when considering food.   5. A 25% shift over ten years would result in employment for 27,000 people employing 1 out of 8 unemployed people in Northeast Ohio.   6. A 25% shift has huge payoffs       a.      $868 million in wages       b.      $1.5 billion in value-added activity       c.       $126 million in revenue in local and state taxes   7.  A 25% shift has indirect payoffs in tourism, business magnet, rural development, economic security, capital improvements   8.      There are additional, less quantifiable benefits including environmental public health and global image   9.      A 25% shift includes big challenges with land, consumer demand, access to capital and entrepreneurship   10.     There are more than 50 solutions-Shuman focused on slow money, the potential to create a NEO stock exchange, the use of municipal bonds and the potential for local currency.

Shuman is speaking on Tuesday (Nov. 16) at the City Club of Cleveland on "The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition."

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