A USDA study of eight regional food hubs/distribution networks that describes how these networks tap into the growing commercial demand for local and regional food products while creating additional economic opportunities and expanding healthy food access.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture report states that in 2008 sales of local foods, both sold directly to consumers or through intermediaries like grocers, totaled $4.8 billion. It also predicts that locally grown foods will generate $7 billion in sales in 2011.
A Report from the University of California, Davis on the characteristics of, and innovations in, CSA production and marketing in California’s agriculturally focused Central Valley and surrounding foothills. The report addresses farm and farmer characteristics, farm-member relationships, economic viability, information sources, and emerging issues.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has released a new report: Market Forces: Creating jobs through public investment in local and regional food systems. In the report they question Federal policies that favor industrial agriculture and challenge the expansion of Farmers Markets. Farmers Markets provide fresh food direct from the farm, improving American diets and generating new jobs. It is asserted that with modest federal support, Farmers Markets could generate tens of thousands of new jobs.
Traditionally, lettuce sold in a Wal-Mart in eastern Connecticut is from a warmer and sunnier location, but due in part to high energy prices, local food is looking more attractive to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart saves on the price of diesel fuel and cuts down on spoilage costs by buying local produce, however, Wal-Mart tells WSJ that their motivation is not an economic one but rather to meet changing consumers preferences.
On August 10, 2011 a group of investors and food and technology entrepreneurs came together at “The New Food Chain: Investing in Food Startups” to discuss investment opportunities in the fast-growing food and technology space. Click on the following link to learn more about interested investors, food technology barriers and opportunities, and current technology sites.
GrowMemphis has introduced a new program at participating farmers markets called Double Green$ to give shoppers using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits more purchasing power to increase access to healthy, local, fresh food. Double Green$ will provide a dollar-for-dollar match up to $10 for shoppers spending SNAP benefits.
The Oregon State Legislature received the proof it needed to pass the Farm to School and School Garden Bill from Ecotrust's work piloting a local lunch subsidy program. The study, taking data collected during the 2008-2009 school year, shows that investment in local school food provides economic benefit to the state. The Farm to School and School Garden Bill gives $200,000 to the Oregon Department of Education to administer a competitive grants pilot program in two school districts with the majority of funding reimbursing these school districts an additional 15 cents per school lunch to buy Oregon-grown foods. Click on the following link to read Ecotrust's report, The Impact of Seven Cents.