The last several years have seen an increase in demand for locally produced food. Local farmers and support organizations have been working diligently to rebuild a vibrant agricultural economy in Mendocino and Lake Counties.
In support of that effort, North Coast Opportunities (NCO) is committed to building a network of Mendocino and Lake County farmers, residents, retailers, and organizations to build a brand for our local food system to help increase the sales, and consumption, of food produced in the area.
At the most basic level, Grown Local Mendocino County and Grown Local Lake County are food product labels that let consumers know they’re buying a product produced right here in the region. In addition, Grown Local provides marketing and exposure for local food producers and retailers. Members work together using a shared brand to increase awareness and sales.
The Grown Local branding has roots in Sonoma County’s Go Local efforts which have resulted in solidifying their economy. NCO owns the Grown Local license rights in Mendocino and Lake Counties and is working with Radiant Tribes, a locally owned business development agency, to implement a successful branding effort.
It’s easy to garner support for this work. After all, a resilient local food system is the backbone of a vibrant local economy. However, due to the independent and self-reliant nature of our two counties there have been some who expressed concerns about “slick” marketing and “corporate branding” representing our very unique corner of the world.
The reality is the logos are simply a signifier. Local people want to know that a product is produced locally. The branding helps connect the dots.
Despite the differences of residents of Mendocino and Lake Counties, there’s one thing we all have in common—we want a high quality of life. A life that values our independence, self-reliance, and is appreciative of the natural beauty of where we live.
We don’t have any control over the global food system when you consider commodity price spikes, oil shocks, weather, or global unrest which all have real impacts on food security. The community has much more control and stability if there is local infrastructure to grow and distribute food, and everyone benefits from buying locally.… Read More