A series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains. Interviews and site visits with farms and businesses, supplemented with secondary data, describe how food moves from farms to consumers in 15 food supply chains. Key comparisons between supply chains include the degree of product differentiation, diversification of marketing outlets, and information conveyed to consumers about product origin. The cases highlight differences in prices and the distribution of revenues among supply chain participants, local retention of wages and proprietor income, transportation fuel use, and social capital creation.
Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains
ERS Economic Research Report
Robert P. King, Michael S. Hand, Gigi DiGiacomo, Kate Clancy, Miguel I. Gómez, Shermain D. Hardesty, Larry Lev, and Edward W. McLaughlin
Washington, DC: USDA Economic Research Service
June 01, 2010
Reports and Guides
Direct Marketing, Farm to School / Institution, Farmers Markets, Food Miles, Local / Regional Food Systems