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Report aims to connect buyers with local food

A newly released report is designed to connect Northland buyers with sources of locally produced food.

“A 20 percent by 2020 Local Purchasing Toolkit” was prepared by the Duluth-based Institute for a Sustainable Future, which announced the report in a news release.

The title refers to the Superior Compact, which asks food buyers to commit to buying 20 percent of their food from local sources by 2020, said Jamie Harvie, the institute’s executive director. More than 20 restaurants and institutions have signed the compact, he said.

In a study by David Syring of the University of Minnesota Duluth, 88 percent of respondents said they check to see where a product is made or grown at least some of the time, the news release said. Another 81 percent said they actively seek locally produced food.

Some buyers already are ahead of the 20 percent goal, the news release said:

r Northland College in Ashland bought more than 25 percent of its food locally in 2013 and had a goal of 30 percent for 2014.

r Duluth Grill in Lincoln Park purchased 26 percent of its food locally in 2012.

Although the goal is 20 percent, the report cites a UMD study concluding that the region has the agricultural potential to produce a 100 percent local healthy diet.

The report lists Northland producers of produce, meat and poultry, fish, eggs and dairy, breads and grains, and honey and maple syrup.

The report is available online at