Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Models of Local Food Distribution

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) and University of Wisconsin-Extension Agricultural Innovation Center just released their report, Scaling Up: Meeting the Demand for Local Food.

The report detailed their study of eleven models of regional food aggregation and distribution that are successful in linking local farmers with regional food chains.

From their website:
Robust local food systems offer social, environmental and economic benefits. Increasingly, wholesale buyers are demanding locally grown food and growers are looking for new regional markets. In order to meet the demand for locally and regionally grown food and move significant quantities of this food into markets such as restaurants, mainstream grocery stores and institutions, local food systems need to be scaled up or expanded from farmer-direct sales of small quantities of product to wholesale transactions. By scaling up, local food systems have the potential to borrow some of the economic and logistical efficiencies of the industrial food system while retaining social and environmental priorities such as sustainable agricultural practices and profitability for small- and mid-scale family farms and businesses.
The models provide examples of how this is being done, benefiting farmers, retailers and consumers.


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