Real Food Happens HereLocal Food Infrastructure, Programs, and Projects in Urbana-Champaign Todd Sweet Director, Common Ground
History• Urbana, IL• Founded in 1974• Moved to current location in mid-2008• 3,550 Owners (last I checked)• $60 equity investment• 45 full and part-time employees• One of the fastest growing grocery co-ops in the nation past four years
Mission Statement (Our “Ends”)1. The co-op is the center of a vibrant, inclusive community2. The cooperative movement is strengthened3. The co-op serves as an educational resource on food issues4. Our local food chain is more equitable, robust, and environmentally sound.
Local (&Regional) Defined 32 Local Sources 23 Regional Sources
On the Horizon: Expansion!• Construction starts April 1, 2012• $2.5 million total project budget• $1 million raised from owners• 250% increase in retail sq ft to 5,580• Projected sales $5.6 million in 1st year• 65 FT/PT employees post-expansion
Threats?• Demand is obviously there, but will supply keep pace?Bottlenecks: • Cost of farmland • Availability of farmland (zoning?) • New farmers • Regulations
Opportunities?• Local food is huge economic development opportunity• $2.3 billion spent by agriculture industry in Central IL buying inputs from outside the region.¹• $3.9 billion spent by Central IL consumers on food from outside our region.¹¹ Source: Ken Meter at Common Ground Co-op Grocery — Urbana, Illinois (September 10, 2011). Facilitator forstrategic planning session involving local planning, economic development officials and city council members, along withlocal foods leaders.
Thanks! Todd Sweet firstname.lastname@example.orgPresentation available at: http://toddsweet.com