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Charting our Good Food Course

Four steps to strengthening Michigan with more local food and farming

March 25, 2009 | By Patty Cantrell
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

Bruce Giffen
Lee LeVanway, manager of wholesale and retail sales at Benton Harbor Fruit Market, is a proponent of moving more Michigan foodto Michigan markets.

Michigan families and businesses are calling for healthy, tasty, trustworthy food. They are not waiting for Lansing, but moving forward, building new pathways between family farms and local buyers and reinventing systems, such as regional distribution, to bring more good food to more people. There is power in this dynamic movement, which Michigan can harness by investing in it—power to bring dollars home to local economies, to grow green jobs, and to save money by keeping people and natural resources healthy.

Part II of See the Local Difference suggests four steps that local and state leaders can take to make sure Michigan benefits fully from the growing demand for local food. They are:

Planning for Food
Local governments make room for local food

Growing Entrepreneurs
Communities foster innovative farm and food businesses

Improving the Business Environment
Smarter regulations help supply meet demand

Investing in Infrastructure
Local food economy calls for new equipment and services

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