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UC Food Safety
University of California
UC Food Safety

Growing support for local foods

A recent Economic Research Service report from the USDA called Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts and Issues provides an overview of the country's local food systems. Some of the findings include:

  • Direct-to-consumer marketing sales of agricultural products more than doubled from 1997 to 2007.
  • The number of farmers markets nationwide tripled from 1994 to 2009.
  • In 1986, there were two community supported agriculture organizations (CSAs). In 2001, there were 400. Early 2010 estimates exceed 1,400.
  • The number of farm-to-school programs (schools feeding students local produce) rose from two in 1997 to 2,095 in 2009.
  • Most farms that sell directly to consumers are small farms with less than $50,000 in total farm sales.
  • Expanding local food systems can increase employment and income in those communities.

To read the report summary click here; to read the whole report click here.

Eating local foods is a great way for consumers to get good nutrition, help the planet and support the local economy. To find a nearby farmers market use USDA’s Farmers Market Locator.

Producers looking to begin direct marketing or wanting to increase sales, have a variety of resources available to them including: UC Agritourism Center, UC Farm and Business Marketplace, and your local UC Cooperative Extension office.

Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at 7:43 AM
  • Author: Chris M. Webb

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Site Creation date 6/1/2009
Webmaster for site:  Zann Gates

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