taste the local difference
Taste the Local Difference is Michigan’s local food marketing agency, founded on the mission "to educate consumers about the value of local food, and support food and farming entrepreneurs in building successful, well-connected, and thoughtful businesses."
The roots of Taste the Local Difference go back to 2002, when Groundwork (Michigan Land Use Institute at the time) published a report titled The New Entrepreneurial Agriculture: A Key Piece of the Farmland Protection Puzzle. The premise was that farmers, farmland, and the rural landscape we love were at risk of disappearing because developers could pay farmers more for their land than farmers could earn through the limited market options available at the time – largely bulk, global commodity markets that provided untenably low prices to farms. We used our communications expertise to elevate a trend emerging across the country: small farmers were pursuing an entrepreneurial way of doing business that also provided health, quality of life, and economic benefits to communities.
The Groundwork team saw that marketing services for local food producers would be essential. Groundwork created a marketing agency and named it Taste the Local Difference (TLD). The first project, launched in 2004, was a directory of farmers that showed what they grew and where they were located.
Over the years, TLD services expanded to include both hardcopy and online directories of farmers and producers, marketing consultation, market tests, surveys, brand development, brand awareness, and directly connecting producers to markets. Many people within the Northern Michigan food and farming scene credit TLD for being central to creating one of the strongest, most vibrant local food economies in the nation, despite the area’s small year-round population.
In late 2018 the company was sold and converted to a for-profit model with the purpose of expanding throughout the state and beyond.
For more information about Taste the Local Difference, please contact Paula Martin, Community Nutrition Specialist at [email protected].
- Order a copy or read online the Taste the Local Difference guide to local food.
- If you are in the food business, tap into the TLD marketing services to build your business.
- Shop local foods whenever and wherever you can!
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW?
Taste the Local Difference News
Urban Farmer and Policy Specialist Shares Thoughts on the MI Healthy Climate Conference
I joined the staff here at Groundwork in November 2022 and became a team member on the Food and Farming team. I currently work on the 10 Cents a Meal Program, and also come to Groundwork with experience as an urban farmer in my base of Detroit. Because of this, I...
Groundwork to Help Build Resilient Local Food Distribution Networks and Market Opportunities in 16 West Michigan Counties
Traverse City/Petoskey – Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities is pleased to announce it has received a multi-year grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to expand the resilience and scale of the local food economy in western Michigan. For more...
Cheryl Hutchinson Talks Personal Mission, Corporate Mission, and Groundwork
Hello, Friends —We are pleased to share some thoughts today about personal mission and community engagement from our board chair, Cheryl Hutchinson, who is also a member of our Corporate and Community Partnership Program.—Stephanie Prall What’s your...