Food Marketing and Distribution
Food Marketing comes in many forms and we encounter a variety of materials every day, from advertisements for food products on TV, local grocery store flyers, advertisements in the paper for the farmers market or advertisements on social media. Some marketing we encounter is for local foods and some is for food created by large international corporations and delivered to all parts of the globe. Food marketing influences the choices we make about the food we consume. Marketing could tell us about the price of an item, the benefits of an item, or how purchasing something might make us feel. In addition to encountering food marketing in our everyday lives, marketing is used by our local food producers and local food retail and restaurant locations to sell their products and bring in customers. The Pagosa Farmers Market is an example of a way for farmers to use collective marketing to sell their goods. Community members regularly see the advertisements for the market during the summer season and know there will be a variety of farmers with goods for sale, without the individual farmer having to advertise for themselves. Other local food businesses that use marketing in our community to attract customers include specialty retail stores, restaurants, food trucks, farms and ranches, meat processing facilities, gardening/food production retail outlets, and others.
Food distribution is how your food gets from the farmer to your plate. In some cases this is a short journey if you grow a carrot in your backyard and eat it in your house. Sometimes this is a long journey involving many modes of transportation to get an avocado from Mexico to your table in Colorado. Food that is produced locally has a much shorter journey than food produced across the country or even across the world. When making choices about what you are eating, some people take into consideration how far their food has to travel to reach them and the impact the journey has on the environment and the people involved in the process. Choosing local foods reduces the time and distance food has to travel, and gives people buying the food fresher items that if they came from further away.
Transportation and Food Delivery
Food Hub is a term that is often used to describe organizations with a variety of functions around food aggregation and distribution. Food hubs come in many shapes and sizes and work to meet the needs of the local community of food producers, food businesses, and consumers. A food hub may be a location where local farmers bring their goods and are able to sell to larger customers because many farmers can come together to fill an order, it may be a place where organizations come together to share storage space and centralize distribution to their organizations, it may be a place for community education and have spaces for growing and cooking food. The Food Coaltion is exploring the idea of a food hub in Archuleta to meet the variety of needs of those engaged in the local food economy. Our vision is of a community space where there is centralized storage and distribution of shared goods for our food pantries, where local farmers and backyard growers can bring their products to be washed, sorted, and distributed, where community members access a kitchen space for education and food production, and a growing space for education and donation of produce. This vision is part of an equitable community-based food system that the community can contribute to and benefit from. We are excited to work with the community on the development of a food hub that is a community space for food.