Food Innovation Districts
Food innovation districts (FIDs) are a land use concept based on the economic benefits of business clusters, which arise when related businesses locate in close proximity to each other. FIDs often include services such as markets, food business incubators, and facilities for common storage, packing, and distribution needs. By encouraging business collaboration, they provide important opportunities for product aggregation, information sharing, and partnering on events and market promotion. These districts also provide fertile ground for regional food hubs to grow, and for related food and farm ventures and market channels to emerge.
With Funding from USDA-Rural Development, the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and the Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems are working together to prepare a Planning and Economic Development Toolkit that communities statewide can use to establish and encourage FIDs. Additional project partners include project consultant Regional Food Solutions LLC and MSU practicum students. Additional support comes from the Advisory Committee, assembled to oversee the development of the FID Planning Toolkit. The Toolkit will be promoted through regional, state, and national presentations, media outreach, and individual contact with local governments. Outreach efforts will raise awareness of the study results and encourage implementation of FID concepts.