Local Food: USDA ERS study looks at concepts, impacts and issues - The Packer

Local Food: USDA ERS study looks at concepts, impacts and issues

05/17/2010 04:35:15 PM
Tom Karst

Barriers to local food-market entry and expansion include: capacity constraints for small farms and lack of distribution systems for moving local food into mainstream markets; limited research, education, and training for marketing local food; and uncertainties related to regulations that may affect local food production, such as food safety requirements.

Consumers who value high-quality foods produced with low environmental Impact are willing to pay more for locally produced food. Several studies have explored consumer preferences for locally produced food. Motives for “buying local” include perceived quality and freshness of local food and support for the local economy. Consumers who are willing to pay higher prices for locally produced foods place importance on product quality, nutritional value, methods of raising a product and those methods’effects on the environment, and support for local farmers. 

Federal, State, and local government programs increasingly support local food systems. Many existing government programs and policies support local food initiatives,  and the number of such programs is growing. Federal policies have grown over time to include the Community Food Project Grants Program,

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