A study conducted by USDA in 2017 indicates that we are spending $3.67 of every $10 food at food service establishments, and only $0.78 goes to the local farm producer.
Anyone going outside in January and February in North Dakota knows the value of a row of dense shrubs. Windbreaks and shelterbelts reduce the amount of wind, hold snow for moisture in the land, provide protection for livestock and wild animals, and offer a food source for birds; and if the right shrubs are planted, they can be a great value-added food source for humans, too.
Rhubarb is plentiful in the spring in North Dakota. Lindsey Harriman shared this dessert at the Vision West ND Consortium meeting in Williston with rave reviews. It was made from rhubarb out of her backyard garden. What a great combination - locally-grown rhubarb and strawberries from your local fruit grower or local grocery store.
With the ever increasing demand for locally-grown fresh food both growers and retailers may be asking themselves why? Here’s some compelling data about why local food matters!
- According to Worldwatch Institute, the average plate full of food on an American table has traveled 1500 miles before being eaten. Uggggh! How fresh is that???
- Like many products, food is becoming a “moralized market.” That is, people are combining their expenditures with their values. Purchasing and consuming locally grown, fresh food says many things: “I care about my body.” “I care about the environment.” “I support local business.”
- Shoppers across all demographics are willing to pay more for local food.
Local Food = Local Dollars
In mainstream supply chains, farmers retain only 17.4 cents of the consumer food dollar on average (USDA-ERS). No wonder the average American Family Farmer is struggling to keep afloat and mid-sized farms are sold off every year.
- In “short” supply chains, local producers received up to seven times the share of the retail price compared to mainstream supply chains (USDA-ERS).
- Food hubs often return between 75 to 85 percent of their wholesale sales revenues to their producer (USDA-AMS).
- There is a significant rise in businesses using the “fresh format” model (USDA-AMS).