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Monday March 27th 2023

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Building the Local Food Economy


In this public presentation, economist and author Michael Shuman will reveal the first results of a major economic study investigating the potential impacts of food localization in Boulder County and the state of Colorado.

Similar recent studies that Shuman has conducted in New Mexico and Northeastern Ohio suggest that investment in our local foodshed could substantially increase both demand for and supply of local food, creating thousands of new jobs in Colorado, generating hundreds of new businesses, and producing millions in revenues to support the local economy. The economic impact in Boulder County alone could be significant.

Shuman has completed similar food localization studies in New Mexico and the Greater Cleveland area. In the Cleveland study, published in December 2010, Shuman found that 25% food localization by 2020 would result in more than 27,000 new jobs. It would also generate $4.2 billion in economic activity, $868 million in additional wages, and $126 million in additional state and local tax revenues—each year!

Shuman’s report will consider three geographic areas: Boulder County (primary focus), Northern Colorado Front Range (13 counties), and the entire state of Colorado. For each of these areas, Shuman will examine the potential economic impact of various levels of food localization, from 10 to 25 percent (in five percent increments), providing ample justification for policy decisions and investments that support the local food and farming system in communities throughout the state.

Shuman will also outline the next steps in the Food Localization Study, which will eventuate in a detailed strategic and economic plan for food localization in Boulder County, which could serve as the basis for development of similar efforts in other Colorado counties.

Register here.

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