“What this report does is say, Look, this market is bigger than you thought”
In 2008, “local foods”, those sold directly to consumers at farmers markets or through grocers or restaurants amounted to $4.8 billion dollars, and is expected to hit nearly $7 billion this year. Although governments, companies, consumers and farmers markets disagree on what the definition of “local food” is, the USDA has classified it to include “sales to intermediaries, such as local grocers and restaurants as well as directly to consumers through farmers markets and roadside stands”.
“There is real demand in the market for people wanting to know where their food is coming from, that it’s going through local channels.”
The amount of farms selling their products to consumer has grown from about 86,000 farms (early 1990s) to nearly 136,000 farms now. Along with that increase, the number of farmers markets in the United States has doubled from around 2,800 in 1998 to about 5,300 in 2009.
It seems as if people are starting to become increasingly curious as to where their food is coming from. Supporting local foods not only is better for environment by mitigating the use of fossil fuels, but also supports the local economy and allows for these farmers to continue their businesses. Local foods are fresh, delicious, healthful and honest, and have become increasingly popular due to new awareness, dedicated companies, and hard-working passionate people.