our Farm, fish, & food economy
What could we gain by strengthening our state's community food system? In this new report created by Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center, we answer that question by determining the vast economic opportunities - and challenges - of the New Hampshire food system. There is so much room for growth in our food system!
In NH, the food system employs 81,000 people with an annual payroll of $1.8 billion. Our farmers and fishermen alone contribute over $270 million annually to the Granite State’s economy ($234 million in farm products and $35 million seafood sales).
Yet NH farmers lose $8 million each year producing food commodities, and consumers spend $4.4 billion buying food. Moreover, New Hampshire residents pay $1.3 billion each year to cover the medical costs of diabetes, which is closely related to food and exercise habits. While bleak, this provides a tremendous opportunity -- if each NH resident purchased $5 of food each week from a NH farm, these farms would earn $349 million of income -- 1.5 times current farm sales! The benefits of making this small shift would have far-reaching ramifications for our lives.
Download the report below and see Ken's presentation here.
We worked with MMCTV's Gregg Stevens to create a series of videos so that you could hear from NH's local food providers and learn about their challenges and opportunities for New Hampshire. Learn how we can all support them through local purchasing, active engagement in our local food system, and advocacy on their behalf!
In New Hampshire, the dairy industry is struggling, following the national trend. It's becoming harder for dairy farmer's to make a profit with the changing prices of milk and supply and demand changes. Hear from New Hampshire dairy farmers about their challenges, including the competition from the world market, government regulation, and the availability of cheap milk.
In order to build a sustainable food system in New England and across the country, we need to also think about the human stories at the core. Who are these workers that produce our food, and what are their challenges? Watch our newest Food Solutions Forum film below to hear from farm workers and those in the restaurant industry about how we can support them and their dreams for the future.
Who Fishes Matters
New Hampshire might have a small coastline, but our fisheries industry used to include 100 active groundfishing boats. Now, there are only 8 left. New Hampshire also has some of the most diverse species of fish in the entire United States, yet we export most of what we catch. Buying local seafood not only keeps our fish in-state, but helps support small businesses too. Watch the short film below to hear the concerns of our fishermen and what we can do to build and strengthen New Hampshire fisheries.