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FoodRoutes Network, LLC

The FoodRoutes Network is Reborn as a Subsidiary of PASA

 

As of the first day of June 2012, the FoodRoutes Network, which has run the National Buy Fresh Buy Local® Program since its inception, was reborn as the FoodRoutes Network, LLC, a subsidiary of PASA. FoodRoutes Network has always been dedicated to revitalizing local food systems by involving consumers in the process.

FoodRoutes Network (FoodRoutes) was located in Millheim, PA and directed by PASA founder Tim Bowser when the Buy Fresh Buy Local® (BFBL) program was first conceived. FoodRoutes’ coordination of the BFBL brand marketing campaign has been connecting consumers in communities across the United States to sources of fresh, local food from growers they can know and trust right from the start. To establish BFBL as a nationally recognized, brand name identity for locally grown food, as a way of differentiating such products from the mainstream, FoodRoutes has worked with community-based organizations across the country to design, launch and implement successful “buy local” food campaigns and education programs.

When the project was first conceived and created early in the last decade, the original Steering Committee considered several different types of messages and marketing approaches before settling on Buy Fresh Buy Local®. At the time, members of the committee were committed to a different approach, but consumers in focus groups held across the country were very clear in support of the BFBL message.

According to Brian Snyder, executive director of PASA, “PASA’s interest in taking on this role has been to assure the ongoing strength of FoodRoutes as a national movement, and integrity of the Buy Fresh Buy Local® brand for the long-term future. We are hopeful to be able to help this very effective project continue to grow and to make sure it always means what it was intended to by that original Steering Committee, so many years ago.”

“I am glad to see the BFBL program continue to grow and represent the importance of buying locally throughout various parts of the country,” said Tim Bowser, former executive director of FoodRoutes Network. “Credit for making the BFBL program happen also goes to Joani Walsh, who took the focus group research and developed the model program for what it is today.”

BFBL campaigns are currently underway in 20 states with over 75 local chapters (see sidebar). Some of those chapters have been organized and/or supported by regional chapters, serving different parts of the country, and PASA has served in that capacity for Pennsylvania as a region all along. PASA now coordinates 13 local chapters in the commonwealth alone.

Creating FoodRoutes Network, LLC as a subsidiary of PASA fits the mission of the organization, which is the underlying theme of all of our programs - promoting profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment - as our work is rooted in education and support for farmers, and outreach to the general public. Supporting the buy local concept helps strengthen outreach to the consumer audience to grow market demand for farmer and business owners who are doing the right thing.

Julie Inman, program coordinator of FoodRoutes Network, LLC commented, “The future of Buy Fresh Buy Local is bright and promising because of our expanded connection with PASA. As PASA’s current membership is comprised of many individuals and businesses that reside beyond the PA borders, it is important to recognize the increasing influence PASA has in agriculture throughout the mid-Atlantic and beyond. I think FoodRoutes can only strengthen with this new relationship.”

There are currently active BFBL chapters in the following states:

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