local food events

Taste the local difference

A 'Certified Local Food Event' emphasizes community. The badge signifies that this event is committed to a sustainable future— not only for the event but for the community as a whole.

When an event displays this badge it has the backing of Taste the Local Difference® — a program with over a decade of experience in the local food & farming community.

Event organizers contract with TLD to oversee all of the food related components of the event, and to manage a number of other criteria that are weighed into the event’s certification, including: community engagement, involving local artists, and mission-driven activity.

To become certified, event organizers must show a sincere commitment to supporting our local food community— from farm to fork to compost and back again. It’s an important step forward to encourage local food sourcing and zero-waste initiatives at our region’s many events, but this certification also aims to provide the validation, transparency and measurement that is key in order to prove an event is doing more than just talking the talk.

To certify your event or learn more, contact us at events@localdifference.org


October 10th 2015

Harvest@theCommons was the region’s first ‘Certified Local Food Event.’ This incredible community gathering celebrated it's second year by once again sourcing nearly 100% of the ingredients for a five course family-style meal from local farms.


January 28 & 29th 2016

Farms, Food & Health and the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference was held at the Grand Traverse Resort serving over 1,000 people each day. TLD assisted event staff in sourcing 40% of the food locally from within 100 miles and a total of 70% of the ingredients from within the State of Michigan... In January.


February 26th 2016

Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network Summit was held at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City which strives to always serve at lease 20% local food ingredients to its guests. At the 2016 network summit that number was well surpassed and ingredients were purchased from over 18 different  Michigan food and beverage producers. 


March 8 & 9th 2016

The Michigan Farmers Market Association Conference  is an educational training and networking opportunity for Michigan farmers market managers. To uphold a tradition of sourcing locally at this annual event and to validate their commitment to local food, MIFMA and Red Haven Cafe recieved this Certification from Taste the Local Difference. Approximately 75% of the food was sourced from within the State of Michigan. 


June 25th 2016

The Traverse City Wine & Art Festival is held on the historic grounds of the Village at Grand Traverse Commons and celebrates the regions wine, food and culture. Guests can taste more than 100 different wines, enjoy fun (and educational!) experiences with local winemakers, explore the works of incredibly talented artists and taste delicious food made with local ingredients, all in one location.  With a goal of at least 20% local ingredients, the vendors participating in this 2016 event were able to surpass the goal and collectively source about 49% of their total ingredients from local sources. 


July 23rd - August 1st 2016

The 12th Annual Traverse City Film Festival became a certified local food event for the first time ever thanks to a sponsorship from Tamarack Holdings and the work of Taste the Local Difference. The certification will include all of the food ingredients used throughout the week-long festival, meaning all the parties (serving 1000+ attendees each), food on film screenings, consessions, the open space venue, greenrooms, the filmmaker's loft and more.


July 30th 2016

Together at the Farm is an exciting local food conference held in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A full day of events will include speakers, workshop sessions, a delicious local foods dinner and a fun evening Barn Dance.