This Discussion channel is currently closed.

Austin’s food sector has a $4.1 billion economic impact annually and supports more than 43,000 jobs in the metro area according to a recent report presented to the Austin City Council on March 28th. Based on a similar report conducted by the City in 2012, those numbers almost match the amount of money and jobs that all the creative sectors support combined. The report also notes that despite Austin’s bounty, many of our neighbors struggle with hunger and/or health issues related to nutrition.

The first-of-its-kind economic impact analysis on Austin’s food sector looked at 20 different classes of business establishments from agriculture, food processing/manufacturing, food distribution, and retail food/eating and drinking places, to determine their impact annually on the economy. The report focuses on activities that bring new money to Austin or allows residents to be able to buy more products locally.

Some key findings highlight Austin’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit present in the food scene – from locally-made products, to farms, trailers and restaurants.The report also notes that despite Austin’s bounty, many of our neighbors struggle with hunger and/or health issues related to nutrition. You can read all the findings and recommendations from the Austin City Council Report at: http://austintexas.gov/department/economic-growth.

Weigh in on the important factors when discussing Austin's food sector by speaking up now!

How do you define "local food"? 

38 Responses

Default_avatar
Alex Wolfe over 1 year ago

Local food is that produced in Austin.

0 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Dr T over 1 year ago

Perhaps the term 'local' food should be foods grown within a 50 mile distance of the city center and the term 'urban' food should be used for foods grown within the city limit of Austin. To highlight the issue, the current definition of 'local' covers food I grow in my back yard, foods grown as far away as San Antonio, and foods processed in Austin from sources as far away as China. Food processing shouldn't be counted in the definition of local food as the raw materials may not have originated in this area. Most food processing I would consider to be a manufacturing operation which has a much larger carbon footprint than do the foods I grow in my own yard.

0 Votes
 
Default_avatar
Sara Laird Weber about 1 year ago

Food produced within driving distance or approx. 100 miles, however, only foods that are adapted to our climate should be grown within these parameters. Coffee, sugar, salt, may need to be transported to this region and in that case, they should be responsibly sourced via fair trade, sustainable standards.

0 Votes