Download PDF by Christopher L. Waltz: Local food systems : background and issues

By Christopher L. Waltz

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Small farms engaged in other entrepreneurial activities also sold directly to consumers, including 28 percent that produced value-added goods on the farm, such as processed products; 33 percent that participated in CSAs; and 49 percent of organic producers (figure 8). Small farms appear to exploit complementarities between these activities and direct-sales ventures. For the other onfarm activities, the link with direct sales does not appear as strong: only 8 percent of all small farms operating agritourism enterprises also sold directly to consumers; 13 percent of small farms that engaged in customwork or alternative energy production on the farm sold directly; 14 percent of small farms that produced forest products sold directly (see figure 8).

The results of the studies that measured the magnitude of willingness to pay are presented in figureure 9. Values range from about 9 percent for New England specialty products (syrup, salsa) and Colorado potatoes to 50 percent for fresh Florida-grown produce. Differences in methodology used by each study may account for some of the variation, but other factors are likely to contribute to differences in consumer willingness to pay, including product perishability, base price, and regional differences in attitudes toward local food and food in general.

Funding was also increased for the Farmers‘ Market Promotion Program, Senior Farmers‘ Market Nutrition Program, and Specialty Crop Block Grants. The 2008 Farm Act reauthorizes the Community Food Project Grants Program (CFP) as a permanent program with $5 million per year in mandatory funding. The 2008 Farm Act also created, within the CFP program, the Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center to provide grants for promoting development of enterprises that distribute and market healthy and locally produced food to underserved communities.

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