IN THIS ISSUE: What Is a ‘Multiplier’ Anyway? Assessing the Economics of Local Food Systems Toolkit
Keywords:Local Food Systems Toolkit, Impact, Evaluation, Editorial
This special issue examines the effectiveness of organizing and conducting formal impact assessments in measuring the economic impacts and opportunity costs associated with local food system policies, programming, and investment. It features 11 articles by a diverse range of academic researchers and community stakeholders who have used the publication, the Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices (which we refer to as “the Toolkit” hereafter) to initialize, frame, and carry out economic impact assessments of local and regional food system activity. Many of the case studies featured in this special issue are directly connected to the over 30 technical assistance workshops provided by the Toolkit’s authors and other partners between 2015 and 2018 following the Toolkit’s release. Our intention in compiling these papers is to gauge whether practitioners and researchers find the Toolkit useful in demonstrating compelling evidence of the economic impacts of food system development strategies, and when they do, to demonstrate its utility and share best practices.
 See the Toolkit online at https://www.ams.usda.gov/publications/content/economics-local-food-systems-toolkit-guide-community-discussions-assessments
See the press release for this article.
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