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Sun Mar 15, 2015, 09:30 AM

USDA Report Offers Insight on the Impact of Local Food Systems


A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report to Congress reports that local and regional food sales in the United States totaled US$6.1 billion in 2012—an increase from the reported US$4.8 billion in 2008. This amount accounts for the selling of food from local farms, “for human consumption through both direct-to-consumer (e.g., farmers’ markets) and intermediated marketing channels (e.g., sales to institutions or regional distributors).” The report findings provide an updated assessment of the growing trend in both the production and consumption of local food in the United States.

Local food sales are accounted from the 7.8 percent of U.S. farms that identify as “marketing food locally.” Of those farms, 70 percent facilitated sales solely through direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing channels, while the remaining 30 percent operated entirely through intermediated marketing channels, or a combination of both. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of DTC farms and number of DTC sales demonstrated a correlating increase of 17 percent and 32 percent. However, from 2007- 2012, data exhibited only a slight increase of 5.5 percent in the number of DTC farms in the U.S., “with no change in DTC sales.” Dr. Sara A. Low of the Economic Research Service (ERS) suggests that the plateau in DTC sales could have resulted from a lull in consumer interests, an increase in sales transactions through intermediated marketing channels, or a byproduct of the recession.

The USDA report also indicates that between 2007 and 2012, there was a decrease in the value of DTC sales, while sales through intermediated marketing channels exhibited great returns. In fact, 80 percent of the US$6.1 billion in total local food sales were through intermediated marketing channels from larger local food farms, many situated near urban centers.

The report did not provide specifics regarding consumer demographics for DTC marketing outlets. More often than not, DTC marketing outlets, like farmers’ markets, offer lower prices than grocery stores. But the data reveals that consumers are willing to pay a premium for local foods. ................(more)

http://foodtank.com/news/2015/03/usda-report-offers-insight-on-the-impact-of-local-food-systems




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Reply USDA Report Offers Insight on the Impact of Local Food Systems (Original post)
marmar Mar 2015 OP
pipoman Mar 2015 #1
greatlaurel Mar 2015 #2
dixiegrrrrl Mar 2015 #3
greatlaurel Mar 2015 #4

Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:47 AM

1. Yeah, I have to question the accuracy.....

 

DTC sales have to be difficult to quantify simply because they are largely cash sales...example, I bought a 16 month, 1100 lb steer for cash last fall...pretty sure the farmer forgot to report the cash by now...

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:53 AM

2. Your assumption is most likely wrong.

Real farmers have so many expenses they can write off on their taxes, they actually need income to use to write-off the expenses. Also, in order to use things like CAUV and lots of other ag programs a farmer actually has to demonstrate farm income.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 10:55 AM

3. We have a pretty good local farm market here.

One of the advantages of living in a rural area.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Sun Mar 15, 2015, 11:00 AM

4. The lack of water for agriculture in California means ag productution needs to move back East.

It is crazy to use massive quantities of water to grow alfalfa and other water intense crops with irrigation when it can be grown east of the Mississippi without irrigation easily. Agricultural production needs to be moved away from areas needing irrigation to areas where water is available for free. The DTC trend could be useful for jump starting this needed relocation of agricultural production.

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