Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday’s Good Food Trade Show & Policy Conference is a must-attend event for those with business and policy interests in the fast-growing Good Food movement — and for members of the general public who also have keen interests in putting Good Food on Every Table.

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FamilyFarmed’s big annual event started in 2004 as a one-day Good Food Trade Show, and it remains the literal centerpiece of our current three-day event. The floor will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there will be no better opportunity this year in Chicago for trade buyers to connect with dozens of producers, curated because we think their delicious products merit your attention.

But that is hardly all there is to your Friday at the UIC Forum. The Policy Conference educates the public about the importance and impact of Good Food; provides a forum to discuss local, statewide and national food policy; and engages school food professionals.

Headlining the conference is an all-star panel on one of the key questions facing the supply-challenged Good Food sector: Does Good Food Need to Be Local? Participants include Chef Rick Bayless of the Frontera restaurants, whose sourcing supports both local and Mexican small farmers; Katherine Miller, who directs food policy advocacy for The James Beard Foundation; Jim Murphy of MightyVine tomatoes; Bobby Turner of Whole Foods Market; Lenny Lebovitch of PRE Brands; and Stacie Sopinka of US Foods.

There is also a track of dynamic food policy discussions. Given the dramatic political changes that the nation is undergoing, Good Food advocates need to be aware of and engaged in discussions about the direction of food policy. This section includes panels titled New President, New Congress — The Future of Federal Food and Farm Policy; The Forgotten Sector: Agriculture and Climate Change; and Save the Soil — Soil Protection and Conservation.

At the end of this exciting and productive day, relax at the Networking Reception,  another opportunity to meet and network with business leaders, buyers and producers. Local craft beers, spirits and wines will be served along with Good Food refreshments and treats provided by local partners. The Networking Reception is open to all Friday exhibitors, speakers and attendees; others may purchase a ticket to attend the Networking Reception only.

Routes to Farm Beginning Farmer of the Year Award
Mar 17 @ 9:00 am – 9:20 am

Routes to Farm is a collaboration of farmer alliances in the regional foodshed of greater Chicago dedicated to training the emerging generation of local and sustainable farmers. 

Angelic Organics Learning Center and the Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer alliance launched the Beginning Farmer of the Year award in 2013 in order to celebrate and promote new farmers growing for our local and sustainable food and farm economy. The winner of this award selects the Mentor Farmer of the Year, honoring an experienced farmer who generously provided mentoring at some time during their first 10 years of startup.

Read more about the 2017 finalists!

Vision 20/20 The Good Food Movement, Powered by Pecha Kucha
Mar 17 @ 9:20 am – 9:50 am

Pecha Kucha is a trademarked presentation format in which people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplined provide fast-paced, visually driven talks about their areas of interest. FamilyFarmed, for the first time ever, will present its own Pecha Kucha, with presenters from across the Good Food movement spectrum.

Does Good Food Need to be Local?
Mar 17 @ 9:50 am – 10:50 am

For many years, the Good Food movement and the Local Food movement were virtually synonymous. But the growing consumer demand for food produced sustainably, humanely and fairly has, for some products, outstripped local supply capacity. This panel will explore whether “local” is crucial, or whether the Good Food movement should be thinking globally while acting locally.

Get in the Game – Wholesale Readiness
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Despite the growth of direct market platforms in recent years, well more than 90 percent of the food Americans eat still goes through wholesale channels. Businesses seeking to reach buyers in or through the wholesale market will benefit for the expertise of the panelists in this session.

Good Grain Basics: What You and Your Business Needs to Know
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join us in a wide-ranging discussion that will increase your local grain vocabulary and appreciation. Understand the types and varieties of sustainably-grown small grains available, the benefits these grains offer, and how to address the increasing demand for these products. From farm-fresh flour to local barley-brewed beer, we’ve got you covered.

Growing Urban Agriculture from the Ground Up
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

A panel of leaders from Chicago’s urban agriculture movement will provide an overview of current policy initiatives that support urban gardens and farms, and lead a training on how to become a grassroots urban agriculture “Ward Ambassador” to effect positive change on the local level.

Setting the Table for Change
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

State and local laws play an important role in how we grow, distribute and access food. Yet many times, it can be difficult to figure out how to monitor policy changes at different levels of government and make your voice heard. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, this session will help you craft a successful plan for changing laws. We will walk through a couple of case studies, and then provide you with an activist toolkit that you can take home and adapt to your own needs.

Take Our Lead: Education and Healthcare Good Food Champions
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Celebrate the successes of those leading Good Food efforts in education and healthcare institutions. Learn what has allowed them to succeed and what advice they have for implementing your own strategies.

The Forgotten Sector: Agriculture and Climate Change
Mar 17 @ 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

What is the role of the food system in global climate change? This workshop will consider the reasons why food and agriculture get so little attention in climate change policy discussions and call for a more robust approach to accelerating adoption of practices that will both reduce to greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and make farms more resilient to changes.

Networking Lunch on the Exhibit Floor
Mar 17 @ 12:00 pm – 12:45 pm

Please visit our Good Food Court vendors and support local food with your lunch purchase. Your purchase helps support local farmers and food businesses and continue to grow the Local Food Movement.

New Food Channel: Online Sales Workshop
Mar 17 @ 12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Online selling presents a great opportunity for Good Food businesses to get their products to market. Join our expert led workshop on how to make this sales channel work for you.

Save the Soil: Soil Protection and Conservation
Mar 17 @ 12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Is our soil dead? Find out why soil heath is critical to plant growth, nutrition and human health. Learn techniques for how to save and grow your soil and further understand why soil vitality is critical to a sustainable agricultural system.

Trends in Food & Entrepreneurship
Mar 17 @ 12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

New food businesses are creating a new breed of entrepreneurs. Come and explore emerging food & beverage trends.

Addressing Food Access Through Cooperatives
Mar 17 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

A roundtable discussion on how healthy food access and food insecurity can be overcome through community-owned and supported cooperative food businesses. The session will highlight the power of cooperatives to create resilient local food economies for communities facing barriers to access and healthy food options. Successful models will be presented, both locally and nationally.

Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Mar 17 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

The Chicago Food Policy Action Council will present on current and upcoming food policy efforts in Chicago including procurement, urban farmland access, urban farm licensing and commercial livestock, food access and developing a plan for expanding productive land use.

New President, New Congress – The Future of Federal Food and Farm Policy
Mar 17 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

In this time of change, it is more important than ever that we in the sustainable agriculture community make our priorities clear, and that we take the opportunity to continue to shape the direction of agricultural policy for the next four years and foreseeable future. Join us for a discussion and listening session about the future of federal food and farm policy with a focus on opportunities and strategies to ensure that a diverse coalition of family farmers and ranchers, conservationists, and local and regional food enthusiasts have a place at the table over the coming years.

Good Meat: Raising Practices and Processing
Mar 17 @ 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Join smaller and larger meat raising operations in discussing best practices in caring for animals and processing the meat they provide.

Local Sourcing: Success & Failures
Mar 17 @ 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

This presentation will explore how panelists have worked to expand their local food offerings and/or meet the demand for local purchasing.Challenges that have been faced during the procurement, distribution and sale will be discussed.

Producers Unite: Co-ops, Hubs and Aggregators
Mar 17 @ 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

This presentation will explore how panelists have worked to expand their food offerings and “to market” opportunities by working in conjunction with other food producers and by creating necessary operations and distribution infrastructure.

Fair Wages for Food Workers
Mar 17 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Living off tips is precarious, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Raising the minimum wage and eliminating the tipped credit would provide a significant stimulus to the U.S. economy in tipped wages alone, providing a boost to local economies and the broader food industry, as well. We’re launching the campaign in 2017 in Illinois and the Chicagoland.

Strengthening Alliances for Better Food Policy
Mar 17 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

In the upcoming years, it will be more important than ever for organizations to effectively work together. This panel featuring good food leaders from across the sector will illustrate examples of successful coordination, and discuss opportunities for shared effort and discuss ways that we can be more powerful when we discover common goals and unified strategies to achieve policy wins.

Closing the Loop: Effective Recycling and Recovery of Good Food
Mar 17 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Discover how the composting and donating of food can strengthen local soil and the community.

How to Grow Your Business through Good Food Partnerships
Mar 17 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This presentation will explore how panelists have worked in tandem with producers, farmers, community organizations, non-profits and others to grow their businesses and bring Good Food to every table.

Transitioning to Organic: How & Why
Mar 17 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Join us in a discussion of the benefits and challenges of transitioning to organic. We’ll identify what education and ongoing support resources are available and how best to build capacity and community around organic production and transition.

Networking Reception
Mar 17 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

An opportunity to meet and network with business leaders, buyers, and producers. Local craft beers, spirits and wines will be poured with Good Food treats and refreshments provided by local partners. Open to all Friday exhibitors, speakers and attendees; others may purchase a ticket to attend the Networking Reception only.

The current list includes:

Brickstone Brewery
Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery
Karma Kombucha
KOVAL Distillery
Niman Ranch
Simply Native
Skyline Kitchen Inc. (TeaSquares)
Strauss Brands

More partners are being added daily!