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City of Cleveland and FPC Release Food Business Cluster Roadmap
The City of Cleveland and FPC have released the findings from the Sustainable Foods Business Cluster Roadmap - a five-year plan with a core objective to increase regional jobs, revenue and sustainability by supporting local food and beverage businesses. The roadmap takes a closer look at the food business cluster as a 'geographic concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers, service providers, and associated institutions' all related in some way to the food industry. FPC and City of Cleveland partnered with Bush Consulting a local firm specializing in economic development strategy that has led similar work on economic clusters with NorTech and completed a preliminary analysis of the AgBio cluster for the Fund for our Economic Future.
The roadmapping process used a combination of financial analysis and guidance from regional experts and industry leaders to identify what the region's food businesses need to be more competitive. A broad group of stakeholders in economic development participated in the process including local foundations, financial institutions, food service companies, grocery stores, farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food manufacturers. The Advisory Committee and Industry Working Group developed a series of interventions to support the growth of food and beverage companies by replacing imported products with local food and beverage sources, expanding markets for exported products outside the region, and improving operational costs and the region's attractiveness through sustainability initiatives.
A Recipe for Success: Developing a Sustainable Foods Business Roadmap for Cuyahoga County which outlines the process, findings, and strategic interventions is now available on the FPC website both as an executive summary and a full report.