Historical trends in farmers' direct sales to consumers

A chart showing direct sales farms and direct sales of local foods between years 1978 and 2007.

Data on direct-to-consumer food sales were first collected in the 1978 Census of Agriculture, and data have been collected every 5 years since (except for 1987). Over the 1978-2007 period, farms with direct-to-consumer food sales represented an average 5.5 percent of all farms, and total direct-to-consumer sales accounted for 0.3 percent of total farm sales. After peaking in 1982, the number of farmers engaged in direct-to-consumer sales increased by 58 percent between 1992 and 2007, to 136,000, and the constant dollar value of direct sales increased by 77 percent to $1.2 billion. This graph is found in Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States, ERR-128, November 2011.

Download larger size chart (454 pixels by 355, 72 dpi)