City to Take Local Food Planning to Next Level

Louisvillians could soon have more access to locally grown food. That’s if a suite of recommendations developed by outside consultants get implemented. The city asked them to study the region’s food economy, and, after months of interviews and focus groups with local farmers and community members, their recommendations are in a report on the city’s Web site.

Some include infrastructure development that would require private investment, such as a year-round, indoor farmers’ market or a new meat and poultry processing plant closer to Louisville. Consultant Ted Spitzer says there are alternative funding options.

“What’s interesting about Kentucky unlike many states is that there are funds through the Agricultural Development Board, which is not a mechanism that exists in any other state I know. So there are some places to look, whether it’s public or private investments,” Spitzer says.

The city has announced that several investors are interested in a downtown, year-round, indoor farmers’ market for East Jefferson street. City officials say they will meet with the investors, as well as convene a task force to figure out how to implement the consultants’ seven key recommendations.