A Letter from the Editor.
The Sonoma County Food Action Plan
The Sonoma County Food System Alliance’s Food Action Plan isn’t a sexy document. It’s a compilation of facts and figures about food production, local resources, human need, consumer stats, and social justice.
But the stories that comprise the backbone of the plan are fascinating. And, actually, so are the stats. People and economic vitality. That’s what Made Local Magazine is all about.
A product of the Sonoma County GO LOCAL Cooperative, Made Local Magazine uses the Food Action Plan as a jumping-off point to connect you with the passions, challenges, and triumphs of those who produce, pack, and promote our food—from Petaluma to Bodega Bay to Cloverdale to Sonoma.
But we also want to help revolutionize the way you view your plate and your grocery basket. That’s where stats come in handy. Sonoma County generates an astounding $2 billion a year in food sales from groceries and restaurants alone. Within the next decade, we aim to shift just 10% of that money, $200 million, to locally owned retailers and restaurateurs who are using locally grown products. Net on top of the $200 million shifted? A cool $100 million.
Studies show that consumers want to choose local products and producers, but they don’t always know what or who that is. Part of our mission is to help you make those choices easier by illuminating the stories behind your food.
While the goal of creating an extra $100 million for our economy might sound lofty, it’s shockingly simple. Sparking Sonoma County’s fiscal vitality doesn’t require us to buy more stuff. We just have to be more discriminating, looking local first.
We’re poised to be a world leader in local food production. What other industry could grow $100 million without doing anything different than slightly changing what we’re already doing?
This first issue shines a light on just the smallest slice of the personalities and efforts that support our food system spectrum. We can’t wait to bring you more.
Look for the next issue to hit the stands early next year. In the interim, please don’t hesitate to write to us with your feedback and give us the 411 on stories we should know about. The stories we should share. The stories that actually do make the Food Action Plan a darned sexy document.
Food System Principles
Convened by the Sonoma County Food System Alliance
Food Security and Access: Assure that residents are food-secure and have access to sufficient, affordable, healthful fresh food.
Food and Agricultural Literacy: Assure that residents of all ages are food literate in that they have awareness of local and global implications of their food choices and have the skills and knowledge to acquire or grow, cook, and prepare healthy food.
Demand for Locally Produced Food: Increase the demand for healthful, locally-produced food.
Local Markets and Production: Expand local markets and food production in order to provide consumers with nutritious foods produced and processed as close to home as possible, and create a resilient food system for all citizens of Sonoma County.
Local Distribution and Processing: Assure Sonoma County has a local distribution and processing system that effectively connects local producers, manufacturers, processors, vendors, and consumers.
Economic Vitality: Assure that farming and food system work are economically viable and respected occupations.
Opportunities for Food Systems and Farm Workers: Assure meaningful livelihoods and opportunities for all food and farm workers.
Environmental Impacts: Assure that local agriculture, food production, distribution, consumption, and disposal are part of a food system that regenerates nature.