Building Local Food Systems
As consumer interest and demand for local and regional foods have increased many agencies and organizations have begun providing grants, loans and support for developing food systems. This movement is focused on enhancing rural economies, enhancing the environment, improving food access and nutrition, and strengthening agricultural producers and markets.
Local and regional food production provides new business opportunities, keeps food dollars in rural and urban areas, and makes fresher produce accessible to communities. Because of these benefits, demand for local food has quickly increased: Sales reached $11.7 billion in 2014, doubling 2012 sales, and has continued to grow. Topic Brief SARE
Farm To Table:
Building Local and Regional Food Systems
Growing in popularity on dinner tables and in restaurants, food banks, schools and grocery stores around the nation, local food has become more than a buzzword.
Building a local food system is not easy. Consumers must demand locally sourced products, communities must work together to establish the infrastructure needed to support a local system, and farmers must listen to and work with distributors, consumers and each other.