New Law To Boost Consumption Of Locally Grown Food In Illinois

Last week, Governor Pat Quinn signed into law legislation that will help put more Illinois-grown food on Illinois tables. House Bill 3990 is designed to increase demand for locally-grown food by building a reliable market for it at state agencies and facilities that receive significant state support.

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Key elements of the legislation include:

  • Formation of the Illinois Local Food, Farms, and Jobs Council, which will work with state agencies, Illinois businesses, and organizations to build an active local farm and food market.
  • Establishment of local food procurement goals for state agencies to purchase 20% of their food locally by 2020. State-funded institutions such as schools would have a goal of 10% by 2020.
  • Creation of a local food purchase preference for state-owned food buyers that allows them to pay a premium of up to 10% above the lowest bid in order to purchase locally grown goods.

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Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Sounds like a good idea at first thought. Yet there is something not quite settling about it. NY does it already. Might as well spend the tax dollars on IL farm produce instead of shipping it out of state. I’m sure with the longer growing season in IL it might be possible to provide crops that are something other than fall crops like apples. Maybe they can get the school kids to eat acorn squash willingly in the cafeterias. Good luck IL.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Illinois has a very strong fruit and vegetable market……thank you very much! Over $48 billion is spent on food in Illinois each year. Now at least 20% of all state funded agencies will have to spend a portion of that here in Illinois and growers like us will be able to sell our produce to school districts and other state funded agencies. Now, instead of having to give away 90,000 lbs. of apples like we did last season……we are able to sell them to state funded school districts and not have to give any away!

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

We are working with 55 greenhouse vegetable growers in Québec province (Canada). A lot of them have very small company working mainly on a retail market basis. Since three years, we are working to develop news crops in greenhouse : strawberry, melon, differents types of tomato, cucumber and pepper, differents types of leafly vegetable (lettuce, spinach, choï), snap beans, aubergine, green oignon, zucchini and more. Actually, this type of industry has the opportunity to find a lot of customers with interest on fresh, safe and tasty food on local basis and for a long period during the year. Now we realise that we can be very strong on a economic basis to offer local produces as long as we work to serve good foods for local customer. On a politic basis, we have to work to be able to install this type of company close to cities with high density population. Ours best tool is to work on the demand to create a feeling of necessity that all cities have to have this type of company like all others retails markets.

By working on that way,we hope ours type of industry will not be a politic fashion related to economic difficulties but will be there to stay.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Careful Growing Produce. You have ONE comment in favor of the buy local in IL. One is singular not plural. I guess it is a good thing to get money for 90,000 pounds of apples you would have had to dump instead. Although it is tax dollars being used and getting some of that back is not a bad thing. Keep in mind when you pay your school taxes they will now have to raise them to pay for the increase in the food budget as they will be mandated to purchase local food at a higher price. They will also only be able to purchase food from the farmers who have late season crops or dairy. This means all the other farmers who grow things the schools cannot use such as soybeans and field corn will not be able to take part in this program.
I think maybe it should not have been instituted as mandatory but voluntary and still allow competition. If IL growers can win a bid over say Washington apple growers then great, buy local. After all the local grower won’t have all the shipping to pay for and it might possible save the schools some money which could mean lower school tax, although lower school taxes are probably a pipe dream.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Sounds like a good idea at first thought. Yet there is something not quite settling about it. NY does it already. Might as well spend the tax dollars on IL farm produce instead of shipping it out of state. I’m sure with the longer growing season in IL it might be possible to provide crops that are something other than fall crops like apples. Maybe they can get the school kids to eat acorn squash willingly in the cafeterias. Good luck IL.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Illinois has a very strong fruit and vegetable market……thank you very much! Over $48 billion is spent on food in Illinois each year. Now at least 20% of all state funded agencies will have to spend a portion of that here in Illinois and growers like us will be able to sell our produce to school districts and other state funded agencies. Now, instead of having to give away 90,000 lbs. of apples like we did last season……we are able to sell them to state funded school districts and not have to give any away!

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

We are working with 55 greenhouse vegetable growers in Québec province (Canada). A lot of them have very small company working mainly on a retail market basis. Since three years, we are working to develop news crops in greenhouse : strawberry, melon, differents types of tomato, cucumber and pepper, differents types of leafly vegetable (lettuce, spinach, choï), snap beans, aubergine, green oignon, zucchini and more. Actually, this type of industry has the opportunity to find a lot of customers with interest on fresh, safe and tasty food on local basis and for a long period during the year. Now we realise that we can be very strong on a economic basis to offer local produces as long as we work to serve good foods for local customer. On a politic basis, we have to work to be able to install this type of company close to cities with high density population. Ours best tool is to work on the demand to create a feeling of necessity that all cities have to have this type of company like all others retails markets.

By working on that way,we hope ours type of industry will not be a politic fashion related to economic difficulties but will be there to stay.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Careful Growing Produce. You have ONE comment in favor of the buy local in IL. One is singular not plural. I guess it is a good thing to get money for 90,000 pounds of apples you would have had to dump instead. Although it is tax dollars being used and getting some of that back is not a bad thing. Keep in mind when you pay your school taxes they will now have to raise them to pay for the increase in the food budget as they will be mandated to purchase local food at a higher price. They will also only be able to purchase food from the farmers who have late season crops or dairy. This means all the other farmers who grow things the schools cannot use such as soybeans and field corn will not be able to take part in this program.
I think maybe it should not have been instituted as mandatory but voluntary and still allow competition. If IL growers can win a bid over say Washington apple growers then great, buy local. After all the local grower won’t have all the shipping to pay for and it might possible save the schools some money which could mean lower school tax, although lower school taxes are probably a pipe dream.