Northeast Iowa Food & Farm Coalition
Building a Local Food System
The NIFF Coalition was the first pilot community selected by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture’s Regional Food System Working Group (2006). NIFF has 30 very active members and over 60 producer members. The NIFF Coalition completed a strategic planning process with a diverse group of stakeholders where the assets, strengths and opportunities of the area were identified as well as the barriers and challenges. The conversations quickly narrowed to food production as a strength in the area. Farms in this area lead the state in direct food sales with $1.3 million dollars in sales. Yet, local food sales only account for about 1 percent of the total food purchased.
Today, the work of the NIFF Coalition has been integrated into the NE Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative (FFI) a partner of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Food & Community program and one of one of nine initiatives in the U.S. The goals of the FFI are to promote opportunities for existing and new producers to engage in the local food system and regionally advance planning and policy change to support processing, distribution and storage opportunities in the local food system.