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Leveraging Existing Infrastructure

Karen Karp provides illustrative examples of the ways in she has worked collaboratively with her clients to overcome some of the barriers to food system change at scale.

November 18, 2010: Leveraging Existing Infrastructure for Significant Food System Change: Food Hubs, Regional Distribution, Farm to School, and more


Scaling up the regional food value chain for long-term change requires significant resources and infrastructure – some of which already exist and are available if we ask the right questions.

Large organizations like school districts, food service companies, and retailers have unprecedented demand for regionally-produced foods. It’s true that often-cited obstacles like insufficient processing and distribution infrastructure and complicated specifications are challenges to narrowing the gap between large-scale demand and supply. However,  if we wish to leverage this demand for improved farmer livelihoods and fresh local food in our communities, the conversation cannot stop there.

In this webinar, Karen Karp provides illustrative examples of the ways in which Karp Resources has worked collaboratively with their non-profit, business, and government clients. By taking an inventory of their assets, and employing existing organizational and physical resources and infrastructure, they have worked together to overcome some of the barriers to food system change at scale.




Recorded Webinar


Presenter Slides

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Presenter Bios

Karen Karp

Karen Karp, a respected entrepreneur, project manager and food business consultant, founded Karp Resources, a food and agriculture consultancy, in 1990. As President of the company, she brings over 25 years of specialty food retail, agriculture, and restaurant experience to Karp Resources. Karen began her career as General Manager for a highly innovative restaurant group in NYC.

Karen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design (1982) and a Masters Degree from the University of Bath School of Management’s “Responsibility and Business Practice” program (2001), winning honors for her thesis How Does Food Sustain Us?  Ms. Karp co-wrote the curriculum in Culinary Entrepreneurship for Mississippi University for Women (MUW), now a minor degree at the university, as well as the book, Gourmet to Go: A Guide to Owning and Operating a Specialty Food Store. She also provides an annual scholarship for a promising MUW culinary student.

Ms. Karp was a winner of the 2008 Enterprising Woman award, serves as Director of Business Innovation for the Sustainable Food Lab, is a member of Women President’s Organization and sits on the board of Food Alliance. Karp Resources holds national WBENC certification and WBE certification in New York State and New York City.

Ms. Karp farms oysters near her home in Southold, New York, USA.

Shayna Cohen

Shayna Cohen is GrowNYC’s Wholesale Market Specialist, working to strategically grow the Wholesale Greenmarket, New York City’s only dedicated marketplace for wholesale trade in locally produced foods. Previously, as a Senior Consultant with Karp Resources, Shayna was a researcher on the Wholesale Farmers Market feasibility study team and a project leader for NYC SchoolFood’s local food procurement efforts. She recently returned from a year and a half spent in rural Greece as a Fulbright Fellow, where she studied the preservation, cultivation and marketing of rare and local seed varieties.

Emily Sandusky

Emily joined Karp Resources in 2008. Her focus areas include: market research and analysis, policy analysis and advising, evaluation, and support for Karp Resources’ work with NYC Green Cart vendors and Good People division.

While at Karp Resources, Emily completed a Master’s Degree in Urban Policy at Milano The New School For Urban Policy and Management in May 2009. At the New School, her studies focused on New York City environmental and food policy. Emily’s graduate work included a formal study and analysis of policies that impact the supply chains that bring regionally produced fruits and vegetables into New York City.

While in graduate school, Ms. Sandusky served as Teaching Assistant for an undergraduate class, Urban Food System: Planning, Design, and Policy, at Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts in which she co-managed a student-produced “field guide” to the Lower East Side food system.

Emily is a New York City Master Composter and organizes her brownstone’s backyard compost.
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