Sacramento a National Leader in Direct Farm Sales
The local study, conducted by Shermain Hardesty, UC Small Farm Program Director, found that 14 percent of Sacramento-area farms marketed directly to consumers, compared to just nine percent of farmers nationally.
Hardesty’s research is part of a larger study that examined how locally grown food is supplied to consumers in five metropolitan areas. The study was funded and coordinated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. Hardesty studied sales of mixed greens. The other researchers focused on apples in New York, blueberries in Oregon, beef in Minnesota and fluid milk in Washington, D.C.
Hardesty found that farms in the Sacramento region that marketed directly to consumers averaged $19,518 in annual income from this marketing channel, ranging from a low of $6,924 among Placer County farms to a high of $66,568 among Yolo County farms.
“We were especially interested to find that, even after deducting the added costs of transportation, distribution and selling at the farmers market or other point of sale, the farmers are still able to net a greater share of retail prices in local food supply chains than they would had they used conventional marketing chains,” Hardesty said.
She noted that while mixed greens growers in Monterey County received an average of 79 cents per pound by marketing through conventional channels, one Yolo County grower netted seven times that price at a farmers market. Read More
The full report, “Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains,” is available here.
The related state-level studies “Case Studies on Local Food Supply Chains”, are available here.