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1LOCAL Index

1LOCAL Infographic

The 1LOCAL (“one local”) Index, the result of PASA's Real Deal project to define "local," provides a singular framework for restaurants, retailers and farmers markets to share how they engage in their farm and food communities. The name of the tool implies that we are one community, uniting for a common cause and utilizing a shared indicator for the “localness” of the food we eat. At the core of the tool is a self-assessment, for food business managers to measure their local impact in real numbers including the number of local farms they support, the percentage of supply purchased from these farms, and the total (dollar) amount spent on local goods. The tool also allows businesses to identify what local means to them, in miles, geographic boundaries and otherwise, and to share other ways they provide transparency and accountability in their operation. We believe requiring a business to “open their books” to complete the self-assessment is a powerful way to get managers thinking about their participation in local food systems.

In return for their work on the self-assessment, food businesses receive an attractive infographic report to share with the public, featuring those metrics collected in the assessment, with dollars spent on local food right in the middle. It also includes that business’s working definition for local. The beauty in this approach is that it lets customers decide whether a store’s definition aligns with their expectations, rather than prescribing a rigid guideline for what local means. It puts the onus on the consumer to give some thought to what he or she values and is willing to accept as local, and to vote with their food dollars in response.

Along with the infographic, participants receive a checklist of best practices (based on research findings in The Real Deal research report); worksheets for goal setting; and case studies of businesses successfully implementing these practices. Our aim is to help food businesses and farmers markets be local food rock stars that connect consumers with food producers; implement responsible sourcing, safety and workplace policies; and work toward continual improvement. When businesses return to take the self-assessment year after year, we’ll be able to see who has been doing their homework and who’s really committed to supporting local food producers.

Above all, PASA developed the 1LOCAL Index to bring accountability to the local food table and activate a dialogue between consumers, food businesses and the farms they support. Trust is at the heart of a local food system. A lack of accountability threatens the integrity of local food claims and the trust that both eaters and farmers place in the food purveyors with whom they do business. With the new 1LOCAL tool, PASA hopes to move our communities one step closer toward a more transparent, equitable and sustainable food system, where everyone is welcome to the table and knows exactly what is on the plate.

Watch our recorded webinar From the Real Deal Project to the 1LOCAL Index: A Tool for Farmers Markets & Food Businesses

Currently the 1LOCAL Index is available to restaurants, retailers and farmers markets that are PASA Business members or Farmers Market Coalition members. Qualifying businesses can sign up to participate at

For other inquiries, contact Becky Clawson (, (814) 349-9856).

Play along at home!

Meanwhile, the PASA community as a whole can also hop aboard the 1LOCAL train by using the #1LOCAL hashtag on public posts on Instagram or Twitter to celebrate local foods, farmers and businesses rocking your local food scene—or to call out potential imposters. View others posting about 1LOCAL at

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