Local First Webinar Series
Driving demand for Localism
Register for our upcoming Local First Webinars now!
This series features innovative strategies at the business and network levels that effectively make the case for local and result in more buying and thinking Local First. We know driving demand for local products and service is a critical piece of building the Localist movement and taking Main Street mainstream. Locally produced goods and locally owned businesses have received a surge in support and awareness over the last several years thanks to many of the “Think Local First” campaigns around North America. We continue to support this movement through showcasing effective models, campaigns, policies and programs that expand ownership and shift purchasing towards locals first.
Host a Webinar Viewing Party
- Gather with others from your area to participate in a "viewing party" for each webinar. Groups can attend using just one member's registration.
- Ask the presenters the questions you need to create a Local First movement in your area.
- Hold a discussion group afterward to investigate how your community can apply what you learn.
Can't Attend Live?
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Missed a Webinar?
If you missed a past webinar in the series, you can purchase access to past recordings -- check out the list!
In case you haven’t noticed, BALLE is big on local procurement. Buy Local campaigns and consumer education are still essential tools in the Localist workbench, but bringing the Localist movement to scale requires setting our sights on some of the biggest consumers out there: governments, large corporations, and anchor institutions. These entities represent an enormous sector of the economy, and tapping into this demand could represent millions, or even billions, of dollars of income for local businesses in your community.
Now that we've covered various models for localizing procurement across sectors and with many kinds of institutions, we’ll go deep on food procurement. Localizing food systems is common work for Localists, and it's also an area of local procurement with more history and greater traction than other forms of local purchasing.
Through our next three webinars, we'll explore how to get local and regional foods into wholesale and retail markets, and a range of institutions including universities, hospitals, K-12 schools, and other large businesses and anchor institutions.
Did you miss our first webinars on procurement from November through March? Purchase the recordings today.
► May 21, 2013 | 10:00am PT Click here to register
After hearing from two local food catalysts connecting growers with markets, we’ll move next to hearing from a buyer’s perspective: Emory University, a pioneer in local and green purchasing and campus sustainability.
Emory University has set an ambitious goal to purchase 75% local or sustainably-produced food by 2015. To help grow and support local suppliers from which they can buy, they are helping sponsor the development Atlanta Lettuce Works, a worker-owned cooperative greenhouse business.
We'll explore the drivers and goals of Emory’s efforts to source local food and their planning and execution process for making this a reality, including clear goals and implementation steps for 10 categories of food purchases. We’ll learn about their challenges and successes to date, all with an eye toward replication in other communities with other universities and large institutional buyers.
Emily Cumbie-Drake, Program Coordinator, Emory University
Cumbie-Drake works with University committees and various groups on campus in fulfilling Emory’s sustainability vision. She is a graduate from Emory College in 2010 with a B. A. As an Emory student, she was actively engaged in sustainability efforts on campus, including serving on Emory’s Sustainable Food Committee and managing the Green Bean Coffee Cart. Cumbie-Drake was a 2010 Robert T. Jones Scholar and most recently worked as a volunteer for Heiffer International.
► July 16, 2013 | 10:00am PT Click here to register
After learning about two non-profit social enterprise models for advancing local food procurement, and hearing from a pioneering procurement officer, we’ll dive into another example on the front lines – this time, a for-profit model for advancing local food procurement.
Jim brings an interesting mix of expertise to the question of local procurement: he’s a real estate developer and runs a diversified investment and consulting company. From this background he's stepped into the world of getting local foods to local and regional buyers, from retail to institutions. Along the way he met Jim Slama of FamilyFarmed.org, and they developed plans for Blue Ridge Produce including a feasibility study.
Jim Epstein believes that non-profits have led the way with local food procurement, and have built a foundation from which businesses like his can work to help local food procurement get to scale.
Jim Epstein, Chairman and Cofounder, Blue Ridge Produce, LLC and Chairman, EFO Capital Management
Jim Epstein's family has owned property in the northern Virginia Piedmont for more than 50 years. Over that time he has seen the agricultural landscape disappear, and with it a great farming tradition. As a real estate developer he understands the difficulty for farmers to hold onto their land as farm incomes dwindle and land values soar. In considering plans for the development of a village site in the heart of the Piedmont region, he began to imagine how his efforts could also protect and strengthen the local farming community by enhancing the local food system.