Starting a New Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapter:
What you need to know
Depending on community interest, you can initiate a Buy Fresh Buy Local Chapter in various ways. You can organize under a current non-profit organization or start your own BFBL Steering Committee. BFBL chapters nationwide are coordinated by a diverse array of organizations including volunteer steering committees, Cooperative Extensions, sustainable agriculture groups, and economic development councils.
The first step is to read through the Objectives of Buy Fresh Buy Local below, and the Chapter Planning Checklist on the next page. After reading through this information, if you believe you are in the position to start a new Buy Fresh Buy Local Chaper, you should complete the New Chapter Application Form. FMC will then conduct a thorough review of your application and contact you regarding next steps. Send any questions regarding the application process to Stephanie Fenty, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon successful review, your Chapter will be approved, and you will be required to complete the Chapter Registration/Renewal form, and pay the Buy Fresh Buy Local annual brand licensing fee. FMC is currently waving all additional chapter fees until the National BFBL Organizational infrastructure is complete. Once these steps are complete, your BFBL Chapter will be considered active and will be given access to our online BFBL Chapter Leaders Forum, invitations to monthly Chapter Networking Calls, a subscription to the BFBL mailing list and more. FMC membership is also included in your BFBL Chapter activation.
As a Chapter you decide the priorities of your BFBL program work in your respective community or region. Priorities could include, but are not limited to:
- Direct marketing of local food from farm to table
- improving the availability of local food in area restaurants
- Expanding local foods to institutions such as hospitals, colleges and schools
- Increasing farmer education
- Finding new farmers to cultivate land in your community
- Establishing CSAs and local farmers markets
- Increasing consumer awareness about the availability of local food in your community
Varying BFBL chapter focuses will differ, but connecting with the nationwide network and utilizing the organization’s marketing tools and resources allows a foundational starting point to establish and grow chapters.
The Real Objectives of a BFBL Chapter are to:
- Improve your local economy
- Increase the % of local food consumed by local citizens from local farms & producers
- Differentiate the local sustainable food system from large conglomerate global systems that are not sustainable for your community.
- Enjoy the process of helping increase the availability of healthy sustainably produced local food to every member of your community.
- Involve as many people from your community as possible in the process! Helping everyone understand that they need to take an active role for the benefit of the community.
As soon as you have adequately assessed your need to expand the local food system and build a stronger local economy, you can complete the Chapter Application.
To ensure a successful chapter start, do a bit of homework and preparation prior to filling out the application. First, ask yourself if you have a good understanding about how your local food system works. Then, determine what goals you would like to set to improve your local economy through the expansion of local food.
The checklist on the following page represents BFBL’s collective wisdom regarding issues and steps to consider when conceptualizing a new chapter. It is important to note that few chapters complete all of the items on this checklist before beginning. It’s okay to not have all the answers from the get-go, but the Chapter Planning Checklist is a valuable resource that will help you assess where you are in the chapter planning process, and conceptualize implementation strategies.
- You don’t have to reinvent the wheel
- You can customize your Chapter materials to reflect your unique locale
- You can focus energy on grassroots organizing efforts and not on making expensive marketing materials and campaigns
- You are part of a national network of Chapters working together to find creative ways to achieve collective goals
- We have numerous materials, resources, networking opportunities, and staff and mentor support to help your Chapter be successful
- You are working to bring back local food systems, revitalize your local economy, and improve the health of your community!