Seed Capital KY conducts research in support of the growth and development of the local and regional food economy – that is, practices, systems, and practitioners developing food-based economic activity that benefits the local community and region. Such research, noted below in greater detail, led to the development of the West Louisville FoodPort concept. Follow the links in the sideboard to the right to learn more about specific pieces of that project.
In a first-of-its kind quantitative analysis of the demand for local food in a metropolitan area published in January 2013, Seed Capital KY identified a large unmet demand for local food in Louisville.
This Local Food Demand study, conducted in collaboration with Karp Resources, a New York City-based food and agriculture consulting firm, and the Louisville Metro Department of Economic Growth and Innovation, yielded several key findings:
- 72% of Louisville/Jefferson County consumers are already buying some amount of local food.
- Louisville residents currently spend $100 million on local foods, and are interested in purchasing an additional $158 million each year, for a total demand of $258 million.
- Commercial buyers currently spend $214 million on local foods, and would be willing to spend an additional $139 million, for a total of $353 million.
- Much of the food the commercial sectors purchase will be handled, transformed and resold in a variety of outlets, leveraging that $353 million in local food purchases to contribute an estimated $800 million to the local economy.
- Local consumers are willing to devote more of their monthly food budgets to local food, on average, twice as much as they currently spend.
The findings will be used to improve networks among urban consumers and rural producers as a long term, regional, integrated economic development strategy.