The Good Food Festival & Conference is celebrating their 11th anniversary this March 19 to 21, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The event, produced by FamilyFarmed.org, brings together a diverse audience including farmers, food businesses, sustainable food advocates, chefs, families, and individual consumers to join a movement that’s transforming the way we eat — for the better.
This year, the Good Food Festival will feature more than 150 farms, local food artisans, restaurants, and nonprofits. There will be workshops, chef demonstrations, and a speaker series. Food Tank is an official media partner.
On Thursday, March 19, FamilyFarmed.org will host the Good Food Financing and Innovation Conference, a dynamic day connecting funders with food businesses that will be enhanced with presentations by Good Food Business Accelerator fellows. “Local food is the hottest segment in the food industry. […] More Good Food businesses must be established to meet this burgeoning demand, and existing enterprises need the resources to expand and grow. The Good Food Business Accelerator will foster the launch and growth of these businesses,” wrote Jim Slama, founder of FamilyFarmed.org in The Huffington Post. The Good Food Business Accelerator is the nation’s first business accelerator focused on building supply chains for sustainable local food.
And on Friday, March 20, The Good Food Trade Show, Food Policy Conference, and School Food Conference is hosting four powerful tracks – for food industry professionals, food producers, school farm to cafeteria advocators, and food policy-makers. The Localicious Party follows the conference on Friday night, where regional farmers will pair with Chicago’s top chefs to create food and drink.
On Saturday, attendees can learn from top chefs, including Matthias Merges (Yusho, Billy Sunday, A10) and Jason Hammel (Lula Café, Nightwood), who will discuss their Pilot Light program, which teaches Chicago school children about the role of food in society and how good food can be fun.
Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about innovative programs like these as well as what they can do as consumers to change the food system. A panel discussion on “Grassroots Activism” includes; Mark Kastel, Cornucopia Institute; Dave Murphy, Food Democracy Now; Kerri McClimen, PEW Charitable Trusts; and Urban Canopy founder Alex Poltorak.
There will also be the opportunity to get tips from gardeners, food artisans, and more at the Do-It-Yourself-focused Good Food Commons. And for urban agriculture enthusiasts, there is an Urban Farm Bus Tour, which will visit four locations growing local food and jobs on Saturday morning.
Visit the Good Food Festival website to buy tickets and put this exciting event on the calendar!