The healthy food-eat local trend has caught the attention of state legislators. Whether you’re working with agricultural clients in Alaska or Mississippi, you can find new business opportunities by tracking the progress of recently introduced legislation which is summarized at the National Conference of State Legislatures site.  Since the start of 2009, legislators have introduced bills in Alaska, Florida, Illinois and other states to launch programs that encourage schools to purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Other states, such as Maryland, propose to expand these types of programs to include other state institutions such as correctional centers and hospitals.

It is too soon to determine when these bills will become law or the specifics of funding associated with these programs. However, the intense consumer interest in improved diet and in reducing childhood obesity is changing the market for local farmers and food processors who can now find business in their own back yards. To become preferred vendors for state organizations or schools, farmers may have to submit responses to requests for proposals or improve their marketing campaigns.

Check out the details at the Access to Healthy Food Database at the National Conference of State Legislatures site and follow up with the farmers and food processors in your market.

[Source: Healthy Food Database, National Conference of State Legislatures, Spring 2009]