I would like to thank Mountain Xpress, and specifically food writer Emily Patrick, for the April 17 story, “This Bread Is Our Bread.” Ms. Patrick did a stellar job addressing the complexities and significance of closing the gap between bakers of our bread and growers of grain.
There is one point that I made in the article regarding for-profit versus nonprofit that I would like to clarify. The North Carolina Organic Bread Flour Project was a grant-funded project that eventually led to the launch of Carolina Ground, L3C, a mission-driven, for-profit flour mill undertaking an essential piece of our regional sustainable food system. We could not have gotten off the ground without the assistance of the nonprofit Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, which incubated this business by seeking grant funds to support my position as both Project Coordinator of NCOBFP and then general manager of Carolina Ground.
With grant support from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund, Santa Fe Tobacco, Organic Valley, and most recently, The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, we have been able to make the idea of connecting local bakers with local farmers a reality.
The reason I stated in Ms. Patrick’s article that I feel we need more for-profits and fewer nonprofits working toward sustainability is not that we need fewer nonprofits — the nonprofits are doing some great work (!) — but that to truly have a sustainable society, we need mission-driven for profits to be financially sustainable, viable businesses.
And this is an undertaking that is not just up to those of us who are running such enterprises, but it is also up to us as a society to choose where we spend our money. So here’s to kneading local!
— Jennifer Lapidus