A local food system is not so much about how far a particular piece of food travels from producer to consumer. It is more about a community having control over who pays for the hidden costs of our food. These costs can include the environmental impact of the production and distribution of the food as well as the health care costs associated with eating low quality food. It also includes recognizing that workers from one end of the food chain to the other are the poorest paid employees in society and the corporations that benefit from these low wages often pass along the gap between actual wages and living wages to the government in the form of ‘welfare’. A local food system creates the platform for a community to collectively and transparently decide what their ‘food priorities’ are and who should bear the burden of any inequity.

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The New Food Economy

The New Food Economy

Douglas Gayeton

The New Food Economy

The New Food Economy is a system of localized relationships which defines how our food travels through the supply chain. Fundamental to this equation is the welfare of humans, animals, and agriculture.

Jason moved to Athens, Georgia from Berkeley, California because he recognized a need and a challenge to creating a local, fully-integrated food business. The people of Athens cared about the land and what they ate, but didn't have a thriving local food scene, so he helped create one.

Jason Mann says: "As a social and ecological entrepreneur, I believe in the power of thoughtful business models. They provide a benefit the public sector can't compete with in the realm of creating social transformation. It's not just about pasture-raised pork or locally sourced vegetables, but about everyone having access to these products. It's about farmers being able to sustain their families and those in low-income communities being able to cultivate healthy and conscientious eating habits. Both ends of the food chain must be sustained. Our collection of businesses grew in the spirit as the adaptive management strategies we've always practiced in our fields. Adaptability is our most useful characteristic, and paramount to our philosophy."

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