2009 ILFFJ Council
The Illinois Local Food, Farms and Jobs Council’s mission is to build local food networks by forming and supporting teams in the public, private and civic sectors of the Illinois food system.
Local food provides an unprecedented opportunity to revitalize our rural and urban communities by unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of people in any Illinois community. Anyone can learn to grow food, create a value-added food business, or build local businesses to store, distribute, sell, and/or teach people how to better prepare table food. Each of these endeavors will spur economic development and create jobs that cannot be outsourced. If $20 billion of our now exported annual food dollars were kept in state and created an economic multiplier of only three, another $60 billion dollars would be added to the Illinois economy annually. Utilizing our soils and food dollars more responsibly will enrich Illinois families, businesses, local governments, and the state¹s treasury.
The delivery of food to our plate requires a web of interconnected production, processing, and/or delivery relationships. These relationships begin with seed, labor, machinery, farmland, and farmers, extend through processing, storage, distribution, and retail, and end with its preparation for the plate. Each of these links in the food chain can enrich our families and the Illinois economy if structured to do so.
The Council is pursuing the mission of building local food networks by forming and supporting teams of experts–including farmers, infrastructure entrepreneurs, organizations, institutions, and local, state, and federal governing bodies. Collaborative and cross-pollinating teams are forming in the public, private, and civic sectors at the local, regional, state, and national levels. As individuals, organizations, institutions, and local, state, and federal governing authorities collaborate with farmers, infrastructure entrepreneurs, retailers, and consumers to build local and regional food networks, the local food economy envisioned by PA96-579 of the Illinois General Assembly will emerge.