Building Louisville’s Local Food Economy,
Louisville, Kentucky (2007-2008)
Market Ventures, Inc., in partnership with Karp Resources, is helping the City of Louisville to develop strategies for increasing Kentucky farm income through expanded sales of Kentucky-grown products in the city, the state’s largest urban center. As part of their demand analysis, the consultant team identified and quantified Louisville’s existing food economy, including stores, restaurants, farmers’ markets and CSAs, retail food processors and manufacturers, institutional food service operators, distributors, and emergency feeding sectors. The supply analysis explored the present status of the region’s agriculture and agricultural initiatives, including review of statistical data and primary research that included focus groups with 90 farmers from 13 neighboring counties and 65 key informant interviews. Based on this foundation of research, the team identified twelve high potential opportunities for expanding the sale of local foods. The team determined measurable outcomes for the selected strategies and developed recommendations for targeted public and private sector investments. Mayor Abramson endorsed the study’s findings and created a “fresh food initiative” that followed the recommendation to create a regional organization to implement the strategies.