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Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress

by Sarah A. Low, Aaron Adalja, Elizabeth Beaulieu, Nigel Key, Stephen Martinez, Alex Melton, Agnes Perez, Katherine Ralston, Hayden Stewart, Shellye Suttles, Stephen Vogel, and Becca B.R. Jablonski

Administrative Publication No. (AP-068) 89 pp, January 2015

Cover image for ERS report "Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress" (AP-068) This report provides an overview of local and regional food systems across several dimensions. It details the latest economic information on local food producers, consumers, and policy, relying on findings from several national surveys and a synthesis of recent literature to assess the current size of and recent trends in local and regional food systems.

Errata: On March 20, 2015, near the bottom of page 2, the first year in which the Census of Agriculture began to collect information on farmers’ direct-to-consumer sales was corrected to 1978. Also, a data source identified in Figure 1 was corrected to read “National Farm to School Network.”

Errata: On February 23, 2015, the following figures were corrected to include Alaska and Hawaii: Figure 2, “Total direct-to-consumer sales, by county, 2012”; Figure 3, “Change in direct-to-consumer sales, 2007-12 using constant 2012 dollars”; and Figure 4, “Farms with direct sales to retail or restaurants, 2012, and food hubs, 2014.”

Keywords: local food systems, direct to consumer marketing, intermediated marketing, farm to school, food hubs, farmers’ markets, local food prices, Food Safety Modernization Act, Farm Bill, environmental issues, Census of Agriculture, Agricultural Resource Management Survey

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Last updated: Friday, March 20, 2015

For more information contact: Sarah A. Low, Aaron Adalja, Elizabeth Beaulieu, Nigel Key, Stephen Martinez, Alex Melton, Agnes Perez, Katherine Ralston, Hayden Stewart, Shellye Suttles, Stephen Vogel, and Becca B.R. Jablonski