Robert P. King
The local food movement has captured the attention of American consumers, producers, food marketers, and policymakers. These theme articles explore perceptions about local foods, prospects for growth in their supply and demand, and policy issues affecting the development of local food systems.
Michael S. Hand and Stephen Martinez
Local food systems can be defined in numerous ways, relying on geographic, social, and supply chain characteristics. These definitions are tied to preferences for performance outcomes of the food system, such as environmental quality and economic development, which precludes the adoption of a single local foods definition.
Yuko Onozaka, Gretchen Nurse, and Dawn Thilmany McFadden
Although local food is gaining more visibility in the marketplace, little is understood about consumer perceptions of local food, what motivates local purchases, and how local choices influence shopping venue preferences for food buyers. This article explores these issues in the fresh produce market using 2008 national survey data.
Larry Lev and Lauren Gwin
Although farm-direct marketing channels are increasingly visible in the United States, their relative sizes and impacts are poorly understood. This article discusses seven data-driven statements related to farm-direct marketing and then presents a brief case study on the challenges of selling livestock products in farm-direct markets.
Robert P. King, Miguel I. Gómez, and Gigi DiGiacomo
The mainstream supermarket distribution system favors large suppliers and facilitates long distance movement of products. Can it meet growing demand for local food products? Are there meaningful prospects for a significant “relocalization” of supermarket offerings? Though small, this segment of the food system has the potential for sustained, rapid growth.
Kathryn A. Onken and John C. Bernard
All fifty states have an agricultural marketing program in place, with more than half established after 2000. This increase coincides with consumer trends towards local foods. This article discusses the differing aspects of these programs, and presents some evidence on how state program promoted food purchases compare with local foods.
Shermain D. Hardesty
The local food movement gained government support with the passage of the 2008 Farm Bill and the subsequent introduction of USDA’s "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative. This article examines the impact that various federal, state and local policies have had on local food.
Kate Clancy and Kathryn Ruhf
Regional food systems are larger and more comprehensive than local food systems. We argue that on four dimensions—food needs and supply, environmental sustainability, economic development, and diversity—a regional framework is a meaningful and viable path to a more resilient food system.