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Winrock International

Winrock’s Wallace Center Releases Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Innovation Report

(December 10, 2013) — The Wallace Center at Winrock International released a report this month that addresses one of the most complex issues facing food access and regional food system development allies today: how can consumer price and producer cost meet in ways that transition healthy, local food from a privilege to a right? Innovations in Local Food Enterprise: Fresh Ideas for a Just and Profitable Food System analyzes and aggregates a collection of innovative solutions to overcoming difficult food access and food equity issues with a focus on market-based, consumer-driven solutions for low-income underserved communities.

The report is based on learning from Wallace’s Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development (HUFED) Center, as well as the work of others who are creating and implementing market-based and non-market-based food access solutions in a very hands-on, practical way. Key findings include:

  • Food access solutions need to reach beyond physical access to healthy food (e.g., distance to store or food pantry) to address social, environmental, cultural and other factors.
  • The role of business or market-based solutions needs to be maximized. These market-based solutions appear to be more sustainable and offer more opportunity to low-income communities if supported in both entrepreneurial thinking and healthy eating.
  • There are four main areas of innovations that support a market-based approach: 1) innovations in affordability and profitability; 2) innovations in infrastructure and logistics; 3) innovations in community engagement; and 4) innovations in marketing. Each innovations section in the report includes a synthesis of trends, and introduces two outstanding enterprises through directed case studies.
  • Enterprises working in this field integrate innovations from two, three, or all four of the main areas of innovation, in an effort to make healthy food affordable, attractive and accessible.

The report is intended to inform, inspire and prepare readers to innovate in their own communities, and for those in decision-making roles to have this knowledge in mind as they envision and develop programs. The report is available for reading online, and also for download. Please contact the Wallace Center for more information.