D.C. Food Economy Study

The DC Food Policy Council (DCFPC) and the DC Office of Planning (OP) are working with a consulting team at ICF International to produce a report to help to understand the impact of food on our local economy.

What is the purpose of this study?

This study directly advances two of DCFPC’s main goals: to monitor regulatory barriers to the development of a local food economy, and to collect and analyze data on the local food economy. It will inform DCFPC’s strategy development process and provide recommendations to support and grow the local food economy.

What will the study include?

The study is a deep dive into the District’s local food economy and will, include food production, wholesaling, distribution, catering, restaurants, and more. The project will combine large dataset analysis and targeted surveys and interviews with local food entrepreneurs, operators, and staff. It will:

  • Clearly define the District’s food industry clusters and their impact on the District’s economy
  • Analyze changes and trends in food businesses over time
  • Identify gaps and opportunities for food policy action
  • Provide a series of high-level recommendations for retention and expansion of this sector in the local economy

What has been accomplished so far?

The scope of the study has been set by identifying a summary of food industry data (number of establishments, employment, wages) broken down by NAICS industry code. This draft was shared publicly at the August 2, 2017 DCFPC full board meeting and can be found here: DC Food Economy NAICS Codes. 

Surveys and interviews of DC food businesses have also been completed. We asked food businesses in the District to answer questions about themselves, their businesses, and the District’s food economy and regulatory environment. Our thanks to all who shared their time and thoughts with us!

Where can I learn more?

Updates will be provided at DCFPC’s bi-monthly meetings.