BEND, ore. - Finding local food in the winter in Central Oregon can be difficult but has been made easier by the Central Oregon Food Policy Council's Buy Fresh Buy Local project.
Buy Fresh Buy Local connects farmers, buyers and consumers to local food
products through a Food & Farm directory and local food events.
Any producers or food businesses in the Central Oregon region that are members of the Food Policy Council are listed in the printed and online directory. The on?line
search tool allows anyone to find food from whole cows to sides of beef, cheese, sauces, wine and honey.
What's more, this program has increased revenues for local producers and connected businesses with wholesale accounts.
"This program has boosted sales for my ranch," says Ed Stabb of Crump Ranch, while Gary Bishop of Bishop Farms states that "sales from marketing in the Food and Farm Directory are 70% higher than sales from other direct marketing attempts."
An increase in sales can have major benefits for farmers, allowing them to earn enough income to farm full-time rather than having two jobs to supplement their income. It also means that the local food economy is stronger and better able to serve the region, including chefs and consumers.
This year the COFPC and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council will work together to produce a Regional Wholesale Buyers' Guide to assist local food purveyors to connect with local farms and buy food at larger volumes.
"We recognize that there are many facets to the food system that need to be aligned to make the movement of food more efficient," states Katrina Van Dis, Co?chair of the Food Policy Council "This is one of many steps to developing a sustainable food system for our region."
The Food Policy Council will also partner with the Cascade Culinary Institute and Central Oregon Locavore to provide a Chef?Farmer Mixer on March 13th to connect food purveyors with local farmers.
"The goal is to make it easy for chefs to find local food and to assist in establishing relationships with farmers."
To volunteer or become a Buy Fresh Buy Local member, contact Katrina at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541? 504?3307 or on their website www.centraloregonfoodpolicy.org
The Central Oregon Food Policy Council is a citizen?based advisory council in Central Oregon, which brings together citizens and professionals from the region to address issues regarding healthy food access, land use planning and networking.