By Haddon Libby
You may not know it but the Coachella Valley produces more than $670 million in fruits and vegetables annually. Typically the foods produced here are shipped to somewhere else for processing before being shipped back here. That sojourn means that you and I get more expensive and less fresh food. Additionally, we have no idea where the fruits and vegetables that we buy are local.
Would you buy a local product or farm good made right here in the Coachella Valley over a similar product made somewhere else?
Local nonprofit ShareKitchen was recently awarded a grant by the USDA to work on helping us to know where our food comes from. The partnership with the USDA came about as they want to promote the development of local food systems. Time and time again it is proven that food sourced and eaten locally is less prone to many of the food borne illnesses that come from both domestic and foreign mega-farms.
Named CV Fresh, this project aims to develop a brand that will help each of us to identify locally produced products and farm produce.
Angela Janus, Executive Director of ShareKitchen, began working on this problem in 2011. Over the last three years, she invested a six figure sum of her own money to work on fixing this problem while simultaneously helping locals to build their own food businesses.
In starting this project, Janus found that she first had to work on rebuilding a non-existent local food distribution system. Despite the size of our farming community, the Coachella Valley did not have a way to gather and distribute local produce and products for sale to restaurants and grocery stores.
Beginning in May, a test project will be run to see if locals and local businesses will buy local.
Next, Janus saw that the CV Fresh project needed a logo so that you and I could easily know whether we are buying something made locally. To that end, ShareKitchen in collaboration with the USDA announced a logo design contest. Any one of us can submit logo designs for consideration as the unifying brand image for this project.
The winning logo will go on products and produce. It will be offered to local grocery stores and restaurants to display in their windows or on their menus so that you and I know if they are participating.
If you or someone you know wants to submit a logo design, you can do so until April 6th. Go to www.CVFresh.info for your Official Entry Form. Submit this with your logo design by email at CVFresh@ShareKitchen.org.
In designing the logo, make sure that your design is aligned with the theme, goals and rules of the project. Also, make sure that your idea is an original design. As an example, my daughter was thinking of a Japanese Anime face on an orange. While that would be an unique logo, I am leery as to its efficacy as THE LOGO for Coachella Valley products and produce. Despite my reservations, I am encouraging her – who knows, her final design may surprise me.
After the submissions deadline, voting opens to all of us where we can place votes on our favorite design. The top five vote getters will be submitted to a blue ribbon panel that will then choose the winning logo. The logo will be announced on May 2nd at the Passport to Health Fair in the town square in front of City Hall in Cathedral City.
Support local food – visit www.CVFresh.info and submit your logo today.
Haddon Libby is Managing Partner of Winslow Drake, an Investment Advisory firm and co-founder of local non-profit ShareKitchen. He can be reached at email@example.com.