Building a Sustainable and Just Food System, with Emma Sharer Ecotrust Investments

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I also want to highlight that Portland has a a very racist, white dominant history as a city. And we're as a community working to dismantle that racism that's been institutionalized and internalized in most of us. And how can we do that? Utilizing The Redd facility and creating access for opportunity and shifting power to folks who have been marginalized out of the system. And what does that look like and how can we create a platform for it, with the infrastructure that we have and the gathering spaces.

Our program team at Ecotrust on the food side, did this study to understand where the gaps were in getting locally sourced produced, raised meats, produce seafood into the hands of people and our community. And what came out of that study was cold storage, dry storage, kitchen, production, space ,events, community gathering spots. And that is what The Redd is now.

So I think what is truly valuable from a food business perspective is you typically start with your warehouse somewhere, your kitchen, somewhere, your buyer, somewhere, and The Redd. Not that everything has to be in one spot, but is a really nice spawning ground. So to speak. Or a food business to start. And that's because you can make your product in one of the kitchens, you can store your product with beeline. One of our tenants who manages the warehouse and then have it delivered by beeline. And, or be connected to the local grocery market in town, new seasons, for example, which is a big partner of ours in The Redd ecosystem.

Also I think another huge layer to this community benefits the collaborative piece, right? So there's, sometimes a hundred businesses onsite at once doing, not in the COVID era, but pre COVID doing their business and whether it's producing or warehousing or whatnot. And then they're collaborating with each other. And I feel like in our very broken sort of commodity size food world, that doesn't exist. So finding that is really important.

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