[permaculture] Consumers Prefer Locally Grown Food, Study Finds

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at intrex.net
Thu Jun 12 13:55:37 EDT 2008

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] Consumers Prefer Locally Grown Food, Study Finds
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 13:21:38 -0400
From: Michelle Frain Muldoon <mfrain at OICI.ORG>

Consumers Prefer Locally Grown Food, Study Finds
Shoppers say they're willing to pay a premium
June 5, 2008 ConsumerAffairs.com

Locally-grown produce may cost a little more, but new research suggests that
the average consumer is willing to pay that premium. The study authors say
their findings provide some farmers an attractive option to enter a niche
market that could boost their revenues.

The study also showed that shoppers at farm markets are willing to pay
almost twice as much extra as retail grocery shoppers for the same locally
produced foods. Both kinds of shoppers also will pay more for guaranteed
fresh produce and tend to favor buying food produced by small farms over
what they perceive as corporate operations, according to the study.

"Our conclusion is that if a farmer wants to consider producing food for
local distribution and marketing it locally, there are people who are
willing to pay more for it," said Marvin Batte, a co-author of the study and
the Fred N. VanBuren professor of agricultural, environmental and
development economics
<http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/06/local_food.html#>  at Ohio
State University. "We are not saying that we should be producing all of our
foods locally, just that this may be a viable, profitable activity for

And what's good for farmers also benefits consumers in this case, said
Batte, director of the research project.

"This is an indication that certain groups out there value locally produced
food and if farmers deliver that, it makes these consumers happier, so it's
good for them, too," he said.

Most of the survey was conducted in late 2005. Batte said the findings - and
his contention that not all food should be produced locally - still apply
today, even in the face of rising fuel
<http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/06/local_food.html#>  and food

Many food crops that thrive in specific types of climates cannot be
efficiently and affordably produced for local distribution elsewhere. And,
he said, those who buy local food to support nearby growers likely would be
even more motivated to lend that support in a flagging economy.

The study is published in the May issue of the American Journal of
Agricultural Economics
<http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2008/06/local_food.html#> .


Michelle Frain Muldoon
Director, Agriculture Programs/Farmer-to-Farmer
OIC International, US-Headquarters

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