Building a Producer
Organization
for
American Origin Products
Elizabeth Barham
University of Arkansas
“Local food” phenomenon
is reshaping
American food perceptions
• Growing consumer demand
• Large retailers involved
• Obama Administration
changing the landscape
- organic
- regional food systems
American Local Food
Proximity
(the “100 mile diet,” etc.)
But it is also…
Proximity
Origin Products
(Kona Coffee)
Proximity Advantage
• “Local multiplier effect” of
dollars circulating
• Stronger regional economy
• Keeps farmers on the land
Origin Product Advantage
• Local multiplier effect
plus
• Beneficial trade effects
AOPs Benefit Rural
Economies Two Ways
• Strengthen local food system
and regional economy
• Create jobs “exporting”
product outside of region
AOPs also…
• Preserve local culture
• Maintain biodiversity in-situ
• Increase local collaborations
• Can promote rural tourism
But…not seen as a product
category
• no US product list
• not mapped consistently
• producers not organized
• research/government
not well linked to them
Recent Initiative
Exploratory Committee for a
US Producer Association
- education
- outreach
- give producers a voice
- network (annual meeting)
American Origin Product
Producers Committed
• Idaho Potato
• Kona Coffee
• Missouri Northern Pecan
New RD Coop Agreement
• several academic disciplines
• U of Arkansas base
• other university “hubs”
• websites: producer, research
• product database, mapping
Campus Entities Involved
• Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness
• Ctr. for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability
• National Agricultural Law Center
• Applied Sustainability Center, WCOB
• Center for Applied Spatial Technologies
• Food Service and Hospitality Program, HES
US Hub Universities Participating
• Clemson University
• Pennsylvania State University
• Michigan State University
• Washington State for Northwest
• University of California-Davis
• Texas A & M
USDA Coop Agreement
1) criteria for an origin product
established -> US guidelines
2) state-by-state inventory of
“nominee” products and their
producer representatives
3) Producer website, outreach to
them for stakeholder feedback
4) Feasibility of eXtension CoP
Long-range goals:
• Raise visibility and support for AOPs
• Improve IP status to better protect
producers and their products
• Grow the markets for AOPs
• Promote regional rural development
Thank you!
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Building a Producer Organization for American Origin Products