The Local Food Opportunity

In his May 2013 report, “The 20% Shift: The Economic Benefits of Food Localization to Michigan and the Capital Required to Realize Them”, Michael Shuman analyzes the amount of additional capital needed to shift an additional 20% of food consumption to foods produced locally within the state of Michigan.  Looking at the total amount of private assets currently utilized and the number of current jobs dedicated to food production in Michigan, he extrapolates how many additional jobs would be created by shifting 20% of food consumption to foods produced locally.  Assuming that the food system has a constant relationship between jobs and capital investments, according to Shuman, there is an additional $3BN in capital investment needed to make this shift in Michigan.  

According to New Venture Advisors LLC’s Local Food Marketsizer (http://newventureadvisors.net), the current local food supply in the Northeast is 50% larger than Michigan’s.  Assuming the correlation is constant in both Michigan and New England, it suggest that New England would require an additional $4.5BN in capital investment in order to shift 20% of its food consumption to foods produced locally.  

Sources:
USDA’s Regional Food Hub Resource Guide, April 2012;
USDA’s AMS Marketing Services Division;
USDA’s Farm to School Census of 2011-2012 ;
USDA’s Economic Research Report No. (ERR-97), May 2010;
newventureadvisors.net

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