Knowledge Base: Buy Local Tools, resources and thought leadership in regional food

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Sourcing Locally

  • Farm to Table Trade Meetings

    Washington State-based Cascade Harvest Coalition hosts meetings throughout the year to bring together regional food buyers, producers, processors, distributors and restaurateurs to network, and forage future contracts.

  • Chefs Collaborative Local Food Distribution Report

    This report assess the performance and success of distribution models for moving food in a local network. It also includes interviews with more than 50 chefs, farmers and distributors about what they think works best for moving local food effectively, and what they wish worked better. This is a great resource for chefs and specialty food producers to gain insight into the various options to procure seasonal and locally grown food. (397.1 KB PDF)

  • Local Food Sourcing 101

    New to local and regional sourcing? This guide from the Institutional Food Marketing Coalition will enable you to communicate effectively with co-workers, supervisors and staff about why you want to source local food. It will also help you understand your own preferences and capabilities, and the best place for your institution to start. (46 KB PDF)

  • How to Start the Conversation: A Food Service Director & Farmer Conversation Guide

    This one-page guide to beginning conversations about purchasing locally is geared towards food service directors, but can be a useful tool for chefs, grocers, restaurants, etc. that want to buy directly from producers. (72.2 KB PDF)

  • Guide to Developing a Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy

    The Sustainable Food Policy Project was initiated in 2006 to support efforts by educational, health care, and other institutions to have a positive impact on the food system through purchasing. This is the latest copy of the guide from 2007. Learn more here: (936.7 KB PDF)

  • Deciding Where to Source

    Thinking about sourcing closer to home? This publication from the Annual International Supply Management Conference takes you through a nine step assessment to evaluate your sourcing choices, and the benefits and challenges of those choices. (28.5 KB PDF)

  • Towards Local and Regional Sourcing - Sysco and Chipotle

    This webinar explains how scaling up local food production requires increasing the capacity of growers, but also calls Buy Local lined up to get the food to the eaters. Representatives from Chipotle and Sysco, two large corporations committed to increasing their local and regional buying, talk about their experiences with scaling up regional sourcing.

  • Seasonal Produce Availability by State

    The Eat Well Guide contains seasonal produce guides for all of the states in the U.S., as well as its territories and the Canadian provinces. A clickable map links to outside websites with seasonal produce information, and will help plan your seasonally inspired menus.

  • Going Local is Not as Simple as It Sounds

    This article from the Boise Weekly explores the challenges and benefits of chef's attempting to source locally.

  • Community Food Enterprise

    This website from the Wallace Center highlights community food enterprise case studies, and features an extensive report about the challenges and successes of community food enterprises around the U.S. and abroad.

  • Chefs with Issues: Five Sustainable Lessons from a family farm

    What does it take to make ends meet as a small-scale rancher? Craig Rogers explains the importance of chefs and consumers commited to sourcing locally, and using the whole animal to a rancher's survival as a business.