Local produce: don’t think twice, it’s all right

06/03/2013 10:58:00 PM
Tom Karst

• Interpretation of some of our more complicated direct marketing channels (produce auctions, cooperatives, CSAs)

• Small family farmers with diversified operations may unexpectedly fall into the “over $500,000” total food sales category even if their fresh produce sales are $25,000 or less.

• Strict limits and long time intervals on the use of animal manures may have a negative impact on otherwise sustainable farming practices, such as crop rotations, nutrient management, integrated production systems.

• How can we reasonably include draft animals? Many of our producers are members of Plain Communities (Amish, Mennonite) and this segment of produce producers is growing in Pennsylvania.

• Members of Plain Communities cannot use information technologies that would make recordkeeping and documentation efficient.


Small growers can match woe for woe with the large grower. 

So what will become of the local food movement?

Will it keep gaining ground or will it flounder aimlessly as consumers embrace another food trend? How much passion will consumers sustain for "local food"? What should be attitude of the industry toward "local food" - approval, neutrality or disdain?

Live and let local, I say. 

Check out the question at The Packer Market and tell us what you think.


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