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Marketing channels for locally grown food

Friday, April 6, 2012

USDA's 2008 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) measured local food sales by asking farm operators whether they sold directly to consumers at farmers' markets, roadside stands, onfarm stores, and community-supported agriculture or through intermediated sales to local grocers, restaurants, and regional distributors during the year. When intermediated sales are combined with farmers' direct-to-consumer sales, the size of the U.S. local food market was $4.8 billion in 2008. Over half of local food sales-$2.7 billion-were from farms selling local foods exclusively through intermediated marketing channels. Farms using both direct-to-consumer and intermediated marketing channels accounted for a quarter of local food sales ($1.2 billion). This chart is found in the December 2011 issue of Amber Waves magazine.