February 4, 2015, Portland, Oregon – The Pacific Northwest has made leaps and bounds toward creating a robust, responsible regional food system, but some of our greatest hurdles still lie ahead. From processing and distribution to scale-appropriate infrastructure and institutional purchasing, addressing these challenges will require many actors working in close collaboration.
This spring, three Food Forums bring together topnotch speakers, farmers, fishers, food entrepreneurs, and the public. With a focused panel session followed by a mixer, each Food Forum will create space for shared learning and lively networking where people can build new relationships, cement old ones, and chart common strategies for building a stronger food system.
On March 11th, award-winning author Paul Greenberg will headline the first Food Forum, “Local Catch,” co-hosted with Wild Salmon Center. Author of the bestseller Four Fish and recent American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood, Greenberg is a leading voice on important fisheries issues, including the reinforcing trends of increased seafood imports and decreased viability of small, local fishing communities
After a keynote, he will join a moderated panel with fisherman Reid Ten Kley of Iliamna Fish Co., Whole Foods Market seafood coordinator Eric Viegas, and fisherman Aaron Longton of Port Orford Ocean Resource Team and the Communities Fisheries Network to talk about solutions underway, what’s holding them back, and where greater opportunities lie. Food, drink, and conversation will follow.
The second and third Food Forums will tackle how to scale up sustainable meat (April 8) and the work underway to invest in infrastructure for regional small and mid-scale farmers to access local markets (May 14). See details below. Each forum will include a diverse, moderated panel of high-caliber speakers followed by Q&A and networking.
“We are proud of our partnership with Ecotrust and welcome the opportunity to create honest dialogue about the local and global impact of the choices we make when producing, harvesting and sourcing food,” says Mary Crowe, Market Engagement Coordinator of Whole Foods Market. “We believe that if we work hard to provide information to our customers about where their food comes from, they will be able to make informed decisions about what to bring to the table. It’s in this spirit that we join the Food Forums.”
Ecotrust is dedicated to systemic approaches to systemic challenges in forests, food, and fisheries. Our mission is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies and ecosystems. We often work behind the scenes to develop new business models and institutions to better support resources and the people whose livelihoods depend on them. The Food Forums are a deep exploration of what we’ve learned in the food and fisheries sectors, and an invitation to join us and key partners in determining how to focus our next steps. We know it will take a diverse team, acting in concert to find a navigable path forward. Come join us in drawing that map.
THE FOOD FORUMS
Tickets to each Food Forum are $15 per person. Space is limited, so reserve your spot early.
MARCH 11: Local Catch: A talk with Paul Greenberg
Ecotrust and the Wild Salmon Center host best-selling author Paul Greenberg and local fishermen for a forum on strengthening fishing communities — their livelihoods, fishing grounds, and the food they put on our table.
APRIL 8: Chicken and Egg: Can we scale sustainable meat?
Join school nutrition service directors, grocery and restaurant buyers, and chicken farmers to explore what it will take to scale up sustainable meat production so that better meat — raised with more humane and environmentally sound practices — can become available to people from all walks of life.
MAY 14: Opening the Black Box: Rebuilding our food infrastructure to serve regional farmers and eaters
Join us for a deep dive into the missing hardware of the regional food system — the warehouses and processing facilities that are needed to help local producers serve more local eaters. Experts will talk about what we know is missing, how entrepreneurs are working to create appropriate infrastructure, how farmers are shaping the vision, and how funders are approaching strategic investments.
5:30 – 8:30 pm
Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
Ecotrust Natural Capital Center, 2nd Floor
721 NW 9th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Ecotrust‘s mission is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies and ecosystems here and around the world. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding an environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it takes inspiration from the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership. Learn more at www.ecotrust.org @ecotrust
About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com, NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” by Health magazine. The company’s motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.