A “craft distillery” license was established in 2008, with the requirement that half of the raw materials used in the production of craft spirits must be grown in Washington. This regulatory framework is unique in the Pacific Northwest in encouraging the development of regionalized supply-chain relationships between farmers and value-added processors. The new license requirements have lowered the financial bar for beginning distillers, leading to the establishment of 72 operations mandated to use Washington grown crops. Lucas Patzek will share the results from a recent study of how the state's craft distilling industry and its supplying farms have developed following the major shift in regulations coupled with the increasing consumer demand for locally produced products.
Lucas Patzek is currently the county director and part of the agriculture extension faculty for Washington State University Extension in Thurston and Mason Counties. He has been studying the challenges of, and opportunities for, strengthening Western Washington food systems using a supply chain perspective. He has worked on a number of international sustainable agriculture development projects in Algeria, the European Union and Mexico, and he has conducted research for the University of California, Berkeley on oil palm production in Southeast Asia, and for the Gates Foundation on smallholder farmers in Africa. He completed his bachelor's in biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his doctorate in crop science at Washington State University.
Visit http://thurston.wsu.edu for more information.