North Carolina Sea Grant
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February 18, 2019 | Danielle Costantini

A new website highlights the work of the North Carolina Local Food Council (NCLFC), a collaborative network of people across organizations and state agencies working together to improve North Carolina’s local food systems. Visit: nclocalfoodcouncil.org

North Carolina Sea Grant is among primary partners on the council, which works with community and regional food councils, food producers, retailers and state agencies. Barry Nash, Sea Grant’s seafood technology and marketing specialist, says the NCLFC is helping to foster successful farms and fisheries, healthy eating, thriving local-food economies, and resilient ecosystems.

“This council will address the pressing concerns of local and regional food councils across the state to make locally produced foods more available to North Carolina consumers,” explains Nash, who served on the committee that developed the website. “By creating a space for diverse stakeholders to collaborate on building local-food systems, we can join forces to promote North Carolina products, including local seafood.”

The council has three broad goals:

“It’s really easy to avoid thinking about where food comes from and what it takes to get it to you. Members of NCLFC come from many disciplines to support and promote local food because they all believe that closer connections between producers, consumers and everyone in between benefits our state in many ways. NCLFC’s members are excited to show the people of North Carolina what we’re doing to connect food and agriculture to public health, economic development, food security, environmental stewardship and more,” says Rochelle Sparko, chair of the NCLFC.

The NCLFC website comes as consumers across the country are more conscious about the origins of their food. Market research shows more people are selecting food that is grown or is manufactured closer to home.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more shoppers are “going local” because doing so gives them the opportunity to obtain high-quality and fresher products, learn about local farming and fishery practices, support small businesses in their communities and preserve local farms and commercial-fishing docks by supporting economically productive uses of land and waterfront resources.

The rising consumer demand for local foods and healthy eating offers tremendous opportunities to community and regional producers and retailers. The overarching goal of the North Carolina Local Food Council is to advance the development of local-food economies across the state.

For more information about the council and its work, send inquiries to nclfc@gmail.com

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