Recently named one of Entrepreneur magazine’s Top 100 Cannabis Leaders, Cresco Labs is among the largest cultivation, manufacturing and retail cannabis operators in the U.S. We provide a full suite of consistently dosed products catering to all consumers, from the novice to the connoisseur, from the medically treated to the recreational user. The company’s core values emphasize educating consumers while seeking to eliminate social stigmas associated with marijuana. We have developed strong partnerships with dispensaries, law-makers, physicians, and local communities – putting Cresco in a unique position to establish a national operation in the complex and developing cannabis industry. Learn about CFBN Member Cresco Lab's openings here.
As convenience and accessibility to delicious, plant-based meat options continue to increase, the number of flexitarians is also anticipated to grow. And as independent Gen-Z buying power flourishes in the coming years, it may very well correlate with the growing number of self-proclaimed flexitarians (as Gen Z ethos overlays nicely with flexitarians values). Read more here.
Scientists at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, along with youths led by Gretta Thunberg, presented the urgent need for immediate climate action related to de-carbonization, biodiversity and removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. We can all respond to this urgency with our food dollars and increasing our support for sustainable farmers who are leading the way in these areas. We need changes in how food is produced and distributed, including better soil management and crop diversification. Imagine if all our food was grown productively by farmers that rejuvenate the soil with composting, crop rotation, organic practices and cover cropping, not only making the food healthy and delicious, but also removing and sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into the soil effectively. The goal to capture 1 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide worldwide is supported by The Rodale Institute, Soil Health Institute, Indigo Agriculture and others that see this focus as key to fighting climate change. The Marin Carbon Project states that regenerative farmers can capture 1 metric tons of carbon on approximately 2.5 acres of land just using composting techniques alone.
The U.N. Panel on Climate Change also calls for changes in consumer behavior. First, we can demand and purchase sustainably grown foods from local farms that grow diversified crops which then travel many fewer miles to our plates. When you eat food that is locally grown, say within 100-250 miles, you are likely to save 1,250 or more food miles and reduce the use of fossil fuels for food transportation. Supporting the growth and success of existing carbon sequestering local farmers, is the best way to encourage more farmers to join the green food revolution, especially after this year of tariff wars. We can incentivize more farmers to transition to growing crops for human consumption (rather than corn and soy for biofuel and animals), reducing deforestation in the process. Second, we need to be less wasteful by buying, preparing and consuming just what food we need. In developed countries, overproduction in the food service, hotel, supermarket and restaurant industries, as well as in our homes, is the leading cause of food waste.
If you want to do more to fight climate change, then act with your food purchase dollars to support local sustainable farms. At Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks we are dedicating our lives to this and we take this mission seriously. We partner with and support dozens of farms using these regenerative practices so we can deliver their fresh foods grown in the most earth healing way.
An open letter from Shelly Herman, of Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks, CFBN Member Company
“The food and beverage industry is still learning how technology can improve their organizations. The food safety segment of this market is particularly in need of a digital transformation...”Read more here!
If you missed our last Innovation Breakfast check out this article highlighting the amazing insights discussed! "The innovation team at Mars Wrigley’s headquarters in Chicago has been using the 'design thinking' process for about the past seven years to drive value in its brands. How the company uses the design thinking concept was explained on Sept. 12, when the company hosted a Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network innovation breakfast at its offices." Read more here!
Have you read this recent article highlighting insights from our Executive Director Alan Reed? “There are about 4,500 food and beverage companies in the metro area today. Together, the two industries employ about 130,000 people in Chicago, and that’s strictly for manufacturing, distribution and marketing. It doesn’t count those who work in agriculture, food retail or restaurants and foodservice. Read more here!
SSEGI Announces Food Co-Packing Expansion Opportunity in Chicagoland for Co-Manufacturers and Food Businesses
The South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative (SSEGI) announces a food co-packing expansion opportunity in Chicago’s South Suburbs. SSEGI has partnered with New Food Strategies (NFS) to design and launch a food processing innovation park, leveraging NFS’s experience working with early-stage and mid-size food companies. The development group is seeking an anchor tenant for this multi-use facility that is strategically located near a skilled talent pool with excellent transportation access.
Attractive financing and lease rates are available for this built-to-suit facility. The park will incorporate various business support services to tenants, including shared logistics, warehousing and other costs. Local partners will design and deliver training programs targeted at food processing.
“This new facility will have the spaces and services firms need to innovate and test cutting-edge products and technologies,” said John Geocaris, Founder and Managing Director of New Food Strategies.
“The South Suburbs are primed for growth,” said Kristi DeLaurentiis, Executive Director of the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA, a lead partner in SSEGI). “The area is coming together, pooling our resources and collaborating to support strategic development. We’re seeing new investments and bringing new resources to the table to get deals done.”
To learn more about this exceptional opportunity, please contact John Geocaris at firstname.lastname@example.org or Matt Schuneman at email@example.com.
About the South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative (SSEGI)
SSEGI is a comprehensive effort to transform Chicago’s South Suburbs, reestablishing them as prosperous communities. Launched in 2017 by a cross-sector leadership group, SSEGI is implementing inclusive programs through a network of businesses, economic developers, service providers and municipalities. To learn more, contact Jay Readey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About New Food Strategies
Founded by John Geocaris, an accomplished food industry executive who led his own food startup to over $250 million in sales, New Food Strategies helps early-stage and mid-size food companies navigate the environment of fast growth. With years of experience effectively managing facilities, supply chains, organizational development and production in various high-growth situations, New Food Strategies knows how to balance the critical decisions of today with a company’s vision for months and years from now. To learn more visit https://www.newfoodstrategies.com/.
Consumers want to know as much detail as they can about what they’re eating and drinking. That’s a hugely important factor to remember when investing in the food and beverage markets these days. Click here to read more!
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
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Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653