Local Nexus helps businesses, organizations, and people make connections in the local/regional food system; fosters stronger local economies through better planning and communications; and promotes sustainable communities.
Farmers, institutions, businesses, and others need to make connections and understand each others’ needs: the school district that wants to buy local but needs salad greens that are ready-to-eat; the large-scale carrot farmer who needs to know how great the institutional demand is in the region before he’ll invest in slicing equipment to meet their needs; the hog farmers looking to work cooperatively to maintain a steady, year-round supply of pork for groceries or institutions; the beef processor ironing out logistics with institutional buyers and distributors.
Despite some restaurants’ advertisements, very little of our food goes from farm to fork. There is a wide range of processing and distribution services, aggregation, safety regulations, and business deals that are necessary in between. A good food system results in food at affordable prices, fair compensation to farmers, and decent wages for those in between.
Brian Williams had a 25-year career writing for newspapers, including four years as the agriculture writer at the Columbus Dispatch, and has spent the last 13 years working mostly with non-profit organizations on agriculture-related issues, including three years as Ohio director of the American Farmland Trust. He formed Local Nexus in 2017 while working as a senior planner and agriculture specialist for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. He is semi-retired from MORPC as of September 2020, and still writing reports, studies, and articles about food, agriculture, and urban redevelopment.