Central Appalachian Network CAN is a network of six economic development organizations working to build a more just and sustainable Appalachia. CAN works to advance the economic transition of the region by fostering the development of enterprises, organizations, and policies that promote and protect the health of our local economies, communities, and environment.
CAN Member Organizations CAN is led by a Steering Committee comprised of the six member organizations:
Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) Athens, OH
Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) Abingdon, VA
Center for Economic Options (CEO) Charleston, WV
Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) Berea, KY
Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) Shepherdstown, WV
CAN’s Local Food System Work CAN member organizations approach sustainable economic development from a variety of sectors. Our current focus as a network is on the development of local food value chains. We use the wealth creation framework as an assessment, planning, and measurement tool for this work.
What is a Local Food Value Chain? A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, information, and resources involved in getting a product or service from the producer to the end consumer. A value chain is a demand-driven supply chain infused with the triple bottom line values of social, environmental and economic benefit. Members of a value chain work together for mutual benefit, and are often more closely connected than conventional supply chains.
What is the Wealth Creation Framework? A systems approach to creating wealth that sticks in rural areas. Emphasizes local ownership and control of resources. Facilitates the development of multiple forms of wealth simultaneously.
The Seven Forms of Wealth Individual Social Intellectual Natural Built Political Financial
Emerging Local Food Systems Local food is important to the region It makes sense to develop this capacity as a means to improve our quality of life, help heal the land and create wealth for people.
Emerging Local Food Systems CAN committed to a regional collaborative project to strengthen local food systems. Aligns with the missions of CAN organizations Gives each organization flexibility
Core Elements of our Work Provide outreach, education, training and technical assistance. Develop infrastructure to move farm products to market. Connect local and regional food producers, processors and distributors to create functional local system. Link to large market partners including grocers, retailers, and institutional buyers.
Emerging Local Food Systems Starting to connect the pieces Pockets of activity Early stages of work Few connections Growing interest
Emerging Local Food Systems Starting to connect the pieces Inventoried the existing infrastructure Hosted regional local food gathering Began organizing work
Emerging Local Food Systems Observations… One size does NOT fit all Working with emerging local food systems requires a diversity of approaches and initial focus on issues Season extension Food safety Policy Investment Market development
Emerging Local Food Systems Observations… Our work with developing local food systems required partnerships with other organizations for the “on the ground” piece. CEO and WesMonTy NCIF -- Monroe Farm Market/Greenbrier Valley EDA
Emerging Local Food Systems Observations… Social Capital is extremely important
Resources Central Appalachian Network: www.cannetwork.org Center for Economic Options: www.centerforeconomicoptions.org Natural Capital Investment Fund: www.ncifund.org Mountain Association for Community Economic Development: www.maced.org