Minnesota's Evolving Food Industry

minnesotaA new study by the Crossroads Resource Center analyzes the importance of food relationships to Minnesota’s economy.  Here are some highlights from the press release:

Emergent Food Businesses Build Trust

A new study, “Mapping the Minnesota Food Industry,” concludes that an emerging cluster of food businesses drives economic change by building trust with their commercial partners.

Ken Meter, president of Crossroads Resource Center and author of the study, said, “The most successful firms are creating new ways of doing business, not only providing higher quality foods.  They do this by building relationships of trust with both suppliers and customers.”

Meter’s study was based on a thorough financial review of the state food industry combined with close interviews with key local firms.  The report was commissioned by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota’s Center for Prevention, which has launched a Healthy Eating Minnesota initiative.  The full study is available for free download at http://www.crcworks.org/mnfood.pdf.

Minnesota is a global center for food business.  Of the state’s top 20 manufacturing firms, seven are food manufacturers and distributors.  These seven earn $114 billion of revenue each year, two-thirds of all revenue earned by the state’s leading firms.  The state has 17,000 food-related businesses, hiring a combined 316,000 employees who earn $7.8 billion of wage and farm income.

The study also documented that outcomes for consumers have not been positive.  Two of every three Minnesotans are overweight.  Nearly a third of all residents are obese.  The Centers for Disease Control estimates the costs of treating obesity-related diseases in the state to be $1.3 billion — and other researchers report twice those costs.  Food-related medical conditions, combined with a lack of exercise, have become a leading cause of death.  Although mortality rates for diet-related diseases in the Twin Cities are among the lowest for metro areas in the U.S., only 24% of adults eat the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

Full press release here.

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