USDA Releases Results of First Local Food Marketing Practices Survey

A news release yesterday from the United States Department of Agriculture indicated that, “More than 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices, resulting in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2015, according to the results from the first Local Food Marketing Practices Survey released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The report results cover both fresh and value-added foods, such as meat and cheese.

“Farms selling food directly to institutions and intermediates, such as wholesalers who locally branded the product or food hubs, brought in the most revenue at $3.4 billion. The next category, at $3 billion in sales, was from approximately 115,000 operations with direct-to-consumer sales, such as on-farm stores and farmers markets. Sales directly to retailers were $2.3 billion from over 23,000 operations nationwide.

“The top five states by value of total direct food sales were:

California, $2,869 million
Michigan, $459 million
New York, $441 million
Pennsylvania, $439 million
Wisconsin, $431 million”

The USDA release added that, “The survey also concluded that more than 80 percent of all direct market food sales occurred within 100 miles of the farm, and that most farms selling to consumers were less than 20 miles from their largest grossing marketplace.

“Approximately 300,000 people were involved in making decisions for the farms that sold directly in 2015. Of these, 62 percent were men and 38 percent were women – a higher proportion of women than among all farms, according to data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.”

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