Envisioning a Local Food Economy in the Kansas River Valley (Lawrence, KS)


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A presentation given to the Lawrence, Kansas Chamber of Commerce Board in the spring of 2009.

I was invited by the Chamber Executive Director and incoming President of the Board to address the entire board. The presentation is not meant to be a comprehensive primer on local foods in the region, but rather is designed to provide a traditional Kansas economic development audience (a) a general context for thinking about local foods as economic development, (b) a specific example of a revenue opportunity related to local foods, focused on tourism spending, and (c) some thoughts about local foods as economic development specific to Lawrence.

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Envisioning a Local Food Economy in the Kansas River Valley (Lawrence, KS)

  1. 1. Envisioning a Local Food Economy in The Kansas River Valley Lawrence, Kansas 2009 Saturday, December 12, 2009
  2. 2. What’s so special about food? Saturday, December 12, 2009
  3. 3. “I begin with the proposition that eating is an agricultural act.” Wendell Berry Whatever else you do, if you eat, you are involved in agriculture. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  4. 4. “The pleasure of good eating is not about fast, convenient, and cheap, but about memory, romance, and trust. To be successful in today’s food market requires offering products so good that customers will say ‘Wow, where did that come from? I want that again’ (memory). We also need to provide customers with a genuine food story so they can feel good about eating that good-tasting product. Increasingly, customers want to know who produced the food; what kind of environmental stewardship was practiced in growing, processing, and transporting it; how the animals were treated; and so on (romance). And customers want to be active participants in the food chain - to be able to access information and to have a relationship that reaches all the way back to the farmer (trust).” Rick Schnieders, president & CEO of SYSCO - one of the country’s largest food distributors Saturday, December 12, 2009
  5. 5. Converging reasons for increased demand for fresh, local, sustainably-produced food • Profitability & quality • Saving small family farms & rural economic development • Health & nutrition • Food safety and accountability • Oil depletion & increasing fuel costs • Urban land use concerns • Cuisine & taste • Environmental stewardship • Cultural diversity Saturday, December 12, 2009
  6. 6. 2009 Restaurant & Industry Forecast (survey of chefs and restaurants) Top 20 Food Trends 1. Locally grown produce 11. Nutrition/health 2. Bite-size/mini desserts 12. Gluten-free/food-allergy conscious 3. Organic produce 4. Nutritionally balanced 13. Non-traditional fish children’s dishes 14. Artisanal cheeses 5. New/fabricated cuts of meat 15. Exotic fruit 6. Fruit/vegetable children’s side 16. Custom culinary cocktails items 17. Micro-vegetable/micro-greens 7. Superfruits 18. Organic wine 8. Small plates/tapas/mezze/dim 19. Dessert flight/combos/ sum platters 9. Micro-distilled/artisanal liquor 20. Free-range poultry/pork 10. Sustainable seafood Saturday, December 12, 2009
  7. 7. Can local food make money? Saturday, December 12, 2009
  8. 8. Wal-Mart thinks so. Wal-Mart spent more that $400 million on locally grown food in 2008. • Reducing food waste • Cutting transportation costs • Customer demand They intend to increase that amount aggressively year-over-year, starting with produce (fruit & vegetables) but including meats and dairy products as soon as possible. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  9. 9. Idaho's Director of the Department of Agriculture Celia Gould says one farmer in that state saw a doubling of his asparagus sales and a 30 percent increase in organic grape sales over the past two years due to Wal Mart contracts. Gould says the revitalization in farming is great for the region's economy. "We haven't had that kind of demand until recently," she says. U.S. News and World Report - July 24th, 2008 Saturday, December 12, 2009
  10. 10. According to a study by Capgemini, a New York business consultancy, only 9 percent of shoppers buying perishable foods are satisfied with the stores at which they bought them. U.S. News and World Report - July 24th, 2008 Saturday, December 12, 2009
  11. 11. The Good News Small farms are the most productive on earth. A four-acre farm in the United States nets, on average, $1,400 per acre; a 1,364- acre farm nets $39 an acre. Big farms have long compensated for the disequilibrium with sheer quantity. But their economies of scale come from mass distribution, and with diesel fuel costing more than $4 per gallon in many locations, it’s no longer efficient to transport food 1,500 miles from where it’s grown.” Dan Barber - chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns For the New York Times Editorial Board May 11, 2008 Saturday, December 12, 2009
  12. 12. The Bad News $1400 x 4 acres = $5600 $39 x 1364 acres = $53,196 But... actual revenue from small farms in the U.S. ranges from about $1400/acre up to about $9,000/acre. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  13. 13. Sustainable, Local Agriculture as Economic Development: There are Challenges • Labor requirements • Capital costs and rate of financial return • Adding value, access, and “experience” to food production • Distribution and quality assurance • Coordinated, sustained marketing • Availability of quality land and planning conflicts • Loss of skills and of experienced producers • Prevailing agricultural model is resistant to scale reduction • Image of and ignorance regarding food production Saturday, December 12, 2009
  14. 14. An example of lost/potential revenue: Tourism Saturday, December 12, 2009
  15. 15. Tourism connects people to places in which they do not live through memory, romance, and trust for the benefit of the people who do live there. Following figures cited courtesy of: - Travel Industry Association of America - Tourism Division-KDOC - Fermata Inc. - 2002 - 2006 Saturday, December 12, 2009
  16. 16. Tourism Snapshot • Shopping and dining are consistently two of the top three experiences travelers seek out (worldwide), whatever else may motivate their travel decisions. • Whatever else we do when we travel • everybody eats • everybody shops And that’s where much of the revenue comes from. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  17. 17. Industry Distribution of Expenditures Shopping accounts for the largest share of tourism expenditure in the state of Kansas. Combined with food and transportation, these three components represent nearly 75% of visitor expenditures. Entertainment 17% Millions Shopping 31% Entertainment 1,132 Accommodation 11% Accommodation 771 Transportation 1,225 Food 1,609 Shopping 2,119 Transportation Total * 6,855 Food 18% 23% * Tourism expenditures except investment Numbers may differ due to rounding Copyright 2006 © Global Insight, Inc. 12 Saturday, December 12, 2009
  18. 18. Industry Structure: Definitions Tourism Expenditures $7.3 billion Kansas All visitor-related spending Total Impact Import Leakage Tourism goods & $5.6 billion $1.7 billion services from outside the state. E.G.: KS t-shirts made outside KS. Economic Value to KS Industries directly Industries directly providing goods & Core Tourism Non-Core Tourism providing goods & services to the (Direct) (Indirect) services to core visitor. $4.2 billion $1.4 billion tourism providers. E.G.: Restaurants. E.G.: Agriculture. Copyright 2006 © Global Insight, Inc. 7 Saturday, December 12, 2009
  19. 19. Cultural and Heritage Travel • 81% of U.S. adults who traveled in 2003 (118 million) were considered historic/cultural travelers. • A significant number of “historic/cultural trips” are made by college graduates (60%) of the Baby Boom generation (40%) with a household income of more than $75,000 (30%). • 49% prefer to experience the local culture and support local businesses. Memory. Romance. Trust. • These tourists are willing to make additional purchases - ($202/visitor/trip) mainly for products and services - but only if these items are made or offered by local businesses using local materials. Shopping. Dining. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  20. 20. How many visitors? How much revenue? Saturday, December 12, 2009
  21. 21. • 20,000 new visitors x $138/day x 2.5 days/trip = $6.9 million new net dollars annually from direct spending • Double that (conservatively) for indirect and induced economic impacts = $13.8 million annually in economic impact • 10,000 cultural/heritage travelers x $202/visitor/trip = $2.02 million in additional revenue (Shopping. Dining.) • IF quality, indigenous products and services are available (Memory. Romance. Trust.) • $15,820,000 in new revenue annually Just from experiential tourism. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  22. 22. Follow the food$... Saturday, December 12, 2009
  23. 23. Not Just Tourism Fresh, quality, healthy local food for • Schools • Hospitals • Nursing homes • Corporate offices • Grocery stores • Restaurants • Regional delivery and distribution • Export • You fill in... Saturday, December 12, 2009
  24. 24. ur Reach O ick u Gu oking p the of locall e; and r g for ide lo y-grown sers p the avo ing herita rs and 009 eu 008-2 Guid er: farm al farme port g the 2 olds in Food at you o our rich o sup ? durin househ ocal loc opies refer- L e ; a co wh with xactly nection teracting users w n of in food perience y grow. with e Guid s. ant t H 0c ting o n e ed up Local Fo ve any Cwill be pick for every d Guide is a ext to ow M opies o “I kee p it n x e cal far m 90,00 , represen olina. The ers tell us the e oducts th pport lo on ar seas n North C elf life— us r su the p sses that r weste ith a long sh e busin nce w e book.” ? 1 with e uted n May - my phon eD istrib annually o e is distrib - Guid is released . The Guid ch distribu is the ide tion t ea Whencal Food Guted informa year, so tha . T he Lo ely upda hout the t all times let ug da comp eekly thro lly stocke - dw t fu ted? 300 lo ute is kep than tion spot istribued to more de D tribut e Gui dis nd Ing les e is thod Guide is her l Fo Earth Fare a W d oca : res an s stor es, The L , including rocery sto n. l food cat ions endent g t the regio rs, natura s. dep hou ione esse wel- • In res throug alth practic nity busin Highway st o e u C o res, h her comm ters and N ookst ot en • B aries, and ty visitor c libr rc oun . ll majo . irport eas o f • A e centers egional A ed ar c om R po pulat /Boone/ heville most ersonville ough- he As in the • T tered heville/He locations nd thr clus s e . u tion is ntains (A ludes som wn below Distrib C mou ut inc Guide, sho N ), b the /Sylva ed in the esville r Wayn area featu e is o ut the VA Guid ood uced, cal F d NC Rd. The Lo hed, pro ASAP, ywood 729 Haille, NC 2880 6 rc y resea stained b aniza- Ashev 236-1282 rg nd su pro t org build (828 nnections.o ) a - o a non orking t s that Carolina an d TN SC asapco w m tion od syste ivalNof h ther mounta 0 in o rt o cal f the surv lo rt the o ithin 1 s. counties w heville, 0 GA s uppo mily farm of As fa miles Regio n nG rown ppal achia The A www.asapconnections.org Saturday, December 12, 2009
  25. 25. Not just fresh food High quality, value-added products • Specialty foods • Gifts • Prepared foods • Pre-prepared meals • Agritourism • Regional/local branded products • Compost • E-commerce • Mail order • You fill in... Saturday, December 12, 2009
  26. 26. The Intervale Center, Burlington,VT www.Intervale.org • 354 acres of farmland, nursery, compost production, trails, and wildlife corridors along the Winooski River in Burlington,Vermont. • Mission: to develop farm-and land-based enterprises that generate economic and social opportunity while protecting natural resources. • Goals are to grow viable farms, preserve productive agricultural land, increase access to local, organic food, compost and other soil amendments, and protect water quality through organic waste management and stream bank restoration. • Projects: Agricultural Development Services - land access and grower training/ consulting Conservation Nursery - natives trees and shrubs for riparian conservation Healthy City - youth entrepreneurship farm and food gleaning/distribution Calkins Farmstead - historic, interpretive farm site Compost Products - retail compost and soil amendments business Food Enterprise Center - fresh food production, value-added food processing Saturday, December 12, 2009
  27. 27. Not just food Coordinated branding & retail • Regional art and artists • Quality local and historic crafts • Cooking classes • Guided tours • Artisan demonstrations • Hands-on experiences • Interpreters/guides • Outdoor recreation • Entertainment • Boutique lodging • Events • You fill in...(Santa Fe, Napa Valley...) Saturday, December 12, 2009
  28. 28. Imagine... Local Retail & Dining Experience ❖ Retail distribution and branding for a wide variety of products • Kansas River Valley brand on Art, Craft, and Food” • High-quality, unique, indigenous products • Local food dining experience(s) • Mother Earth News flagship store as anchor? • E-commerce and catalogue opportunities ❖ Tourism, educational, and community experience ✤ Regional Nature, Culture & Heritage • retail products • education and information • participatory, hands-on experiences ❖ Tamarack, WVA as the model Saturday, December 12, 2009
  29. 29. Tamarack, West Virginia www.tamarackwv.com • Centralized retail environment featuring the best of West Virginia arts, crafts, and food along the interstate - includes studios, gallery, performance venue • Approximately 475,000 annual visitors • In first 8 years of operation: • 3.9 million visitors • $52 million in sales • $2.7 million in state sales tax collected • $43.9 million in goods and services purchased from every county in the state • Over 2,500 state artisans represented - price pointed $5 - $25,000 per item • Partnership with The Greenbriar for food service • Juried selection process becomes artisan development program. • “Best thing we’ve done for the image of West Virginia.” Saturday, December 12, 2009
  30. 30. Here? In Kansas? Saturday, December 12, 2009
  31. 31. How Many People Live in the Kansas River Valley? 1.06 Million People in 7 counties. From a presentation by KSU Horticulture professor Rhonda Janke. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  32. 32. All told, Eastern Kaw River region... • Loses $28 million raising crops, & • Buys $95 million of outside inputs • Buys $2 billion of outside food Ken Meter, 2008© Ken Meter, 44 Potential wealth lost each year 2005 From a presentation by agricultural economist Ken Meter, Crossroads Institute Saturday, December 12, 2009
  33. 33. A 1999 KU study found an unmet demand for Environmentally Identified Products (organic/natural/local/sustainable food items) of about $100,000,000 annually in the Kansas River Valley from Junction City to Kansas City. • No travel dollars included • Just the local region • Just local residents • Findings were prior to recent explosion in EIP market share and demand • Lawrence sits between J.C. and K.C. with • river, highway, rail and air access; • extraordinary soils and ample water; • diverse food-producer community; • expanding local foods awareness and market; • cultural and hospitality capacity; • hub of developing FFNHA; and • outdoor recreation/nature experiences. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  34. 34. Eating is a cultural experience strongly tied to other cultural (and economic) experiences. Experiential travelers & Many travelers, residents, and employers engaged want and will pay for quality, healthy, residents local food products and services. Quality, local An attractive, unique place artisan Production of that food requires good to live, work & products & land, skilled producers and play services entrepreneurs to bring products to (shopping & dining) market. Production of quality local food Revenue, Good land, provides a unique, valuable, and capital, skilled services & sustainable economic driver IF we producers & enhanced protect, develop, and invest in the entrepreneurs quality of life fundamental natural and human resources. Saturday, December 12, 2009
  35. 35. Examples Intervale - Vermont • Mixed-use, entrepreneurial local food and sustainable agriculture project • www.intervale.org Tamarack - West Virginia • Centralized retail environment featuring the best of West Virginia arts, crafts, and food along the interstate - includes studios, gallery, performance venue. • www.tamarackwv.com Various Michigan projects • Cherry Republic, www.cherryrepublic.com • www.mlui.org/farms/index.asp • www.gtrlc.com Siouxland and Blackhawk County, Iowa • “Organic Market Project” declaring Woodbury County, IA as the Midwest capital of organic food production and processing • www.siouxlandchamber.com/economic_development/organic/index.php Zingerman's Community of Businesses - Ann Arbor, Michigan • Mail Order, Delicatessen, Coffee Company, Bakehouse, entrepreneurial Training, Catering, Creamery, Roadhouse, several mail-order food clubs and occasional culinary study tours. • www.zingermans.com Local Burger - Lawrence, KS • Garnering national attention for offering local, healthy, fast food and providing a market for local farmers and ranchers • www.localburger.com Saturday, December 12, 2009
  36. 36. Scott Allegrucci The Far Shore, LLC allegrooch@mac.com Original drawings by Lisa Grossman Saturday, December 12, 2009