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Food Sovereignty on Common Ground

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16th Mar 2021

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Farm tour at Common Ground
 Kauai may be uniquely fertile with a large variety of crops growing on the island, but it battles isolation from markets abroad. Common Ground is working to demonstrate its campus as a petri dish for new business approaches that can be adapted to communities around the world. Their food innovation center emphasizes establishing resilient supply chains.

Common Ground demonstrates this through farming, a business incubator & accelerator program, and vertical supply chain with local product distribution. The organization advocates for this Hawaiian island to economically diversify as the majority of businesses in Kaua'i are entrenched in hospitality, a sector heavily affected in 2020 by Covid-19. Their project is a hub of innovation to share sustainability insight with communities around the world. 

In the past Kaua'i has relied on agricultural businesses that heavily depend on pineapple and sugar cane production. These businesses have experienced difficulties keeping up with today’s markets. Common Ground wants to scale businesses to be able to leave Kauai. The accelerator program accepts local Kauai businesses that have products with potential for export. Two examples are macadamia nut butters and turmeric tonics from local businesses. The acreage around Common Ground has sufficient space to experiment with growing varieties of crops in farm based food centers. These community centers emphasize growing whatever is locally prudent and serve as a model for the world. Yes, Kaua'i may be lush and fruitful, but this example can serve Morocco and the Midwest as long as community structures emphasize growing what is locally available. Think global, act local! 

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Common Ground’s food innovation campus in Kaua'i is the physical representation of the organizations philosophy of local resilience with globalized relevance. By anchoring programs in the Common Ground space it can build capacity with local companies while exemplifying their mission. The programs support building business capacity for more innovative products, growth goals and capital allocation to support businesses to scale. Online retail platforms assist clients from outside Kaua'i to access the Common Ground innovative campus.

The secret to their success lays in the network of local farmers. Benefits and rewards are able to be passed down through the supply chain. They are able to integrate in person interactions with online experiences while serving as a gateway for bringing innovators to the island to meet local talent. The goal is to  band together all these threads of business leadership in a brand that Kaua'i is proud to share with the world. 

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A mobile 'Chicken Tractor'


Getting started begins with You. Changing consumption behavior shapes a lot of what businesses curate for customers. Conscious consumerism can ripple into large changes around the world. Local solutions are vital for creating communities that participate in resilient reformation. Each locality is an ecosystem of its own uniqueness that can be used for business growth by depending on its surroundings for product development.

The strongest entrepreneurs strive in diversity, using ways of connecting and bringing in help to their work. Common Ground is on a path to teach people to capture business by recognizing what is available to them. The end goal is the celebrate the beauty of this place and make it a template for spreading food community centers around the world. For around food, we all have a Common Ground


Take a bite out of the tasty topic of food sovereignty with Stan Stalnaker and join the discussion with Hub Culture's Chronicles Discussion podcast,  Episode 29: Common Ground and The Future Of Agriculture 

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Count Brocula!