Vermont is a national stand-out for the quality of its public educational system, for its low unemployment rate and its overall quality of life. And it’s no slouch on the local food front, either.
In the last ten years, “Vermont’s lawmakers, businesses, farmers, and schools have done more to re-localize its food system than any other state, bar none.” It’s become a laboratory in which food activists can study policy and cutting-edge business models. Think “Vermontrepreneurs.”
According to the annual Farm to Plate report, published each year to analyze the impact of the 2009 bill, Vermont has added 665 new food businesses since 2009. Local food also accounts for $8.6 billion in annual economic output (up 24 percent since 2007), and the state added 5,500 food system jobs from 2002 to 2013.
For Rachel Carter, communications director with Farm to Plate, the job creation is what heartens her most. “It’s impressive to see how quickly those numbers are growing, and the vigor of these younger food entrepreneurs, the amount of work they take on, and the commitment to creating jobs,” she says. “They understand the difference between good jobs, the labor market, the cost of food.”
A terrific read.