A strong food system supports Rhode Island’s economy, culture, and people.
Steeped in history, our booming food scene is a central part of Rhode Island’s identity and what makes it an attractive place to live, visit and raise a family or business.
RHODE ISLAND'S FOOD SCENE
Rhode Island is known for its agriculture, food and premier eateries. Our local food sector is often cited as an area of economic strength ripe for growth. It supports more than 60,000 jobs and feeds tourism and quality of life. Last year, our restaurants captured more than $2 billion in sales. And in 2016, our delicious local food and eateries catapulted Rhode Island to the top 52 places in the world to visit, according to The New York Times. Rhode Island is a ‘foodie’ paradise, and food is an integral part of our social fabric.
FOOD-SYSTEM PLANNING & INNOVATION
We are also leading the nation in food-system planning and innovation – spurred on by a growing demand for fresh, locally grown food among consumers. Unlike elsewhere nationally, the number of farms in Rhode Island is on the rise, and the state boasts a thriving young farmer network.
We top the rankings in the percent of our farms owned by beginning farmers and those selling directly to consumers. And our abundant and diverse commercial fisheries are feeding the world. In 2015, 100 million pounds of seafood was landed in Rhode Island – with an export value over $1 billion.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Rhode Island's diverse food cultures and agricultural and fishing prowess have indeed put us on the map. And our continued investment in promoting innovation and food-based entrepreneurship will undoubtedly keep us there. But work remains to close the gaps in our food system and catalyze its full economic and social potential for the state. This has resulted in the development of Rhode Island's first statewide food plan which plans to leverage a best-in-class system that builds on our dominance in the local food space and ensures all Rhode Islanders benefit from fresh, locally grown food.
View RI Food Strategy Documents & Related Links