First to Mandate Purchase of Locally Grown Organic Foods
(Beyond Pesticides, March 17, 2006) Organic food producers in the Midwest just got a big boost. The Woodbury County, Iowa, Board of Supervisors announced that Woodbury will be the first county in the United States to mandate the purchase of locally grown organic foods.
The law requires that food service contractors for the county purchase locally-grown organic foods as long as they are competitively priced and of good quality. The Woodbury County Local Food Policy is intended to increase per capita income, provide incentives for job creation, attract economic investment, and promote the health and safety of its citizens and communities. If enough organic foods aren’t available for purchase, local non-organic foods will be given preference to meet the demand. “Local” is defined as within a 100-mile radius of Sioux City, Iowa.
New food service contracts need to be in place by June 1, 2006 and there will be a single point of contact in the County to interact with food service contractors on the price, quality, availability and delivery on all locally produced organic food.
According to the National Gardening Association, the policy will potentially shift almost $300,000 a year in food purchases to local farmers. This law not only boosts the local farm economy, it provides fresh, healthy food products to recipients of county food services, such as residents of the juvenile detention center and jail.
For related stories see Study Shows Organic Farms Produce the Same Yields as Conventional, and
Consumers Prefer Local and Pesticide, Antibiotic and Hormone Free Foods
TAKE ACTION: Talk to your county, city or town officials about passing a similiar resolution to support local organic farming in your community.