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Menus of Change Series: Local and Regional Food Systems

Menus of Change Series: Local and Regional Food Systems

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Last Published: 12/10/2018

Menus of Change Series: Local and Regional Food Systems

Bringing local food movement to the mainstream.

Restaurants and foodservice leaders play an important role in enabling regional farms to scale up and be profitable. Many of the newest restaurant concepts are focused on doing just that. According to the National Restaurant Associations, the top concepts for this year include a host of variations on local sourcing: hyperlocal, locally sourced meats, locally sourced seafood, farm-branded items, and the continued emphasis on local fruits and vegetables. Now part of the mainstream thinking, local is beginning to show up in more concepts that reach beyond full-service dining and to more types of eating occasions.

Significant growth has occurred in local and regional food sales. These types of sales show a solid correlation with respect to profitability and growth of farms marketing within a region. Established players still look to commodity markets to fill out most of the plate, missing an opportunity to support a more resilient, local farm sector.

Across the U.S., there is potential for regionalizing a high proportion of the food system. The land base relative to the population exists for this to become a reality. However, there is still a need for an analysis that projects relative to population growth, climate change and water availability.

With the help of mainstream acceptability of farm to table foodservice, regional farming will grow, creating a more sustainable food system that also boosts local economies.

Source material for this post: 2018 Menus of Change Annual Report, a publication of Menus of Change, an initiative of the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public Health. For more information, visit menusofchange.org.

Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.

 

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