Regional food systems refer to networks of food production and food supply chain activities – including farming, fishing, ranching, processing, manufacturing, distribution, and institutional, retail, and prepared food – that are place-based and occur on a regional scale. Regional food systems represent a promising avenue for economic growth for both rural and urban communities. Regional food strategies build on the potential for maximizing transactions between farms, food producers, buyers, retailers, consumers and institutional customers within the same region. In agriculture regions that currently produce for national or global export, a regional approach can strengthen on-farm practices that increase farm value, farm diversification, and vertical integration. Regional food system research incorporates the factors that impact the processes and players in the geography under study, such as natural resource management, physical infrastructure, planning and design, technology, policy and regulation, advocacy, education, marketing, economy, food preferences, and society and culture.
Because the components of regional food systems are so diverse, it can be challenging for communities to select, prioritize, and execute initiatives that best leverage the opportunities within their region – and every region has unique opportunities. KK&P is adept at navigating these factors and looking at regions holistically in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the food landscape of its native opportunities.
We examine the entire system in order to identify the strengths and opportunities of particular businesses, processes, and relationships that will promote economic development, increase community food security, and produce a vibrant, resilient food culture and economy.
Our multiple stakeholder approach helps guide the development of a collective strategy to achieve each project’s objectives. We understand that action-oriented, collaborative stakeholder convenings can be transformative for a community. By building consensus and outlining a realistic ‘roadmap’ that is culturally relevant and connects current conditions to a desired vision, we empower communities to enact meaningful change. We begin each project with a simple question: What problem are we trying to solve? We will work with you to carefully envision and articulate your food system objectives to set the course for success. Our rigorous research methods and ground-tested approaches generate truly innovative and collaborative solutions that are actionable and achievable.