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Pillar 2: Economic Vitality

The Economic Vitality action area focuses on the promotion of local food products and producers, increasing the capacity of the local supply chain (including processing, distribution, and storage) and encouraging institutions like schools and hospitals to purchase local food.

Economic vitality refers to all parts of the food system being able to remain healthy and in business over the long-term. This includes the farmers, ranchers, and fishers who produce the raw food products as well as all the various processors, distributors, retailers, and other businesses that have a role in delivering food to the consumer. In this time of national and international economic recession, supporting local farmers and local food businesses is increasingly recognized as a powerful opportunity to jump-start the local economy.

The multiplier effect… Research demonstrates that locally-directed spending by consumers more than doubles the number of dollars circulating among businesses in the community – creating a local economic stimulus effect. Economists call this the “multiplier effect,” because it steers more jobs and sales tax revenue into the community. For example, in contrast to importing food to Sonoma County, if $100 million more dollars of locally-produced food was consumed in Sonoma County, it would result in an additional $25 million in local economic activity. Several recent studies have found multiplier benefits of local businesses to be up to three times those of non-local businesses. 
 

Goal 3: Support local food system jobs and commerce

3.1 Develop, support, implement and fund “local foods” marketing efforts in order to increase demand for healthy local food 
3.2 Identify and support funding and resources for existing and new farmers and ranchers 
3.3 Expand the capacity of the local food supply chain to create more jobs in Sonoma County 
3.4 Support the cultivation of culturally appropriate crops

Goal 4: Encourage institutional purchasing that supports the local food system

4.1 Build in preference of purchasing Sonoma County products
4.2 Support and encourage a regional food hub to serve as an aggregation and distribution center to increase the market for products and stimulate more supply
4.3 Support and encourage a regional alliance of institutional food purchases to buy from local producers in order to stimulate more supply