by Sadie Clements, CAFF Regional Manager, Santa Clara Valley
Home to nearly 1700 farms consisting of over 45,000 acres of Prime farmland, CAFF’s Santa Clara Valley Region is as rich in agriculture as it is in technology. Thanks to funding from the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation and a CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant, California Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF) is excited to announce the launch of the Buy Fresh Buy Local Santa Clara Valley Campaign, the first agriculture campaign to promote local growers in the Silicon Valley. The region includes Santa Clara and San Benito Counties.
CAFF’s Local Food Systems program connects local family farmers to restaurants, retailers, food artisans, wholesalers, and institutions to bring fresh, locally-grown food to Santa Clara Valley consumers. CAFF provides Buy Fresh Buy Local marketing materials to businesses and farmers while educating consumers about the importance of eating locally. As part of the project, CAFF will release a Local Food Guide publication for the region and update our searchable online database of local food sources.
This campaign is occurring at an important time. While the region remains a dominant agricultural contributor in CA with a gross annual value of a little over $247 million in agriculture production, Santa Clara County lost 39% of its total cropland from 1990-2008. To promote the viability of farmland in Santa Clara Valley, CAFF will highlight the region’s distinctive flavors and build resurgence around the agricultural treasures found in the Valley of the Heart’s Delight.
CAFF hired a new Buy Fresh Buy Local Coordinator to coordinate the campaign!
Born and raised in San Jose, Ashley Alvarez is CAFF’s new Buy Fresh Buy Local Coordinator for the Santa Clara Valley region. Ashley joined CAFF in February and has hit the ground running, connecting farmers with restaurants and businesses. Ashley has a wealth of knowledge concerning marketing, business, sales, use of innovative technology platforms, social media, customer relationships, building brand awareness, and an overall passion for the local food movement. After graduating with a degree from UCSC, Ashley and her mother-in-law started their own jam business based out of Sunnyvale called Fruitful Jam Company. They sourced produce from local organic growers and sold their product at local grocery stores, Farmers Markets, and online. She built relationships with local growers and the community through her business and is excited to continue her work with farmers and the community in the Valley.
If you want to join the Santa Clara BFBL campaign or learn more, please contact Ashley: Ashley@caff.org or 408-390-8285.