North Carolina 10% Campaign reports local food spending at $10 million

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RALEIGH, N.C. — In roughly 18 months, participants in the 10% Campaign have recorded more than $10 million in purchases of locally-produced foods.

What it is

The 10% Campaign is a statewide effort of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems to stimulate economic development, create jobs and promote North Carolina’s farms and fisheries.

More than 4,400 individuals and 427 businesses have signed on to the campaign through the website — www.nc10percent.com — pledging to spend 10 percent of their food budget on locally-sourced foods. Each week, participants receive an email prompting them to record the amount spent on local food that week.

Launched in July 2010 in partnership with North Carolina Cooperative Extension and with funding from Golden LEAF, the 10% Campaign has generated support across the state.

Results

At its one-year anniversary in July, the campaign reported expenditures of $5.7 million. Since that time, the dollars recorded on the site have nearly doubled to more than $10 million.

The campaign was a game-changer idea from the Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ 2009 initiative, “From Farm-to-Fork: Building North Carolina’s Local Food Economy,” that included several action items for building North Carolina’s sustainable, local food system.

The idea is that if all North Carolinians spent 10 percent of their food dollars on locally-produced food, $3.5 billion would be available in the state’s economy.

Partners

Much of the campaign’s success can be attributed directly to its wide spectrum of partners. Among those pledging to spend 10 percent on local food are locally-owned businesses and community organizations including 76 restaurants; hospitals and medical centers; universities and colleges; and thousands of individuals.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension has partnered with the campaign as well. In all the state’s 100 counties and the Qualla Boundary of the Cherokee Nation, extension agents designated as local food coordinators support the campaign by making connections between consumers, community businesses and local food producers.

Participating

Individuals and businesses can sign up for the campaign directly on the website and track their spending and growing power on a weekly basis through an online interactive dashboard. The 10% Campaign website also has a number of resources, including an online directory of organizations working to help consumers find farmers and sources of locally grown foods.

Contact Teisha Wymore for information about the campaign at 919-515-0244 or nc10percent@ncsu.edu.

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