Local Food Markets is a high-visibility issue area distinguished by a number of economic and marketing questions that demand research-based answers. Descriptive and quantitative analyses of local food systems are lacking despite the explosion of popular interest among farmers, consumers, retailers, and policy makers. Local food systems are characterized by direct marketing from farmers to consumers as well as expanding derived demand in the food service and retailing sectors for foods of local or regional origin. Most sources define “local” as food grown within 100 to 300 miles of the consumption point or within state boundaries, but even this definition is based more on geography and infrastructure than economics.
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