In 2015, farmers produced and sold $8.7 billion of edible food commodities directly to consumers, retailers, institutions, and a variety of local food intermediaries such as distributors and wholesalers that market and sell locally branded products. Consumers accounted for 35 percent of these direct food sales, and retailers, 27 percent. Direct farm sales include both fresh foods and processed or value added products such as bottled milk, cheese, meat, jam, cider, wine, etc.
California, with $2.9 billion in direct farm sales, accounted for 33 percent of the U.S. total. At the regional level, the seven-state southwestern region, of which California is part, had the largest share of direct sales (35 percent). Four of the top ten states in direct sales are among the 11 northeastern states that together accounted for 22 percent of the U.S. total.
California also leads the country in the number of farms selling food directly, with 14,315 farms selling fresh and processed food to consumers, retailers, institutions, and local intermediary businesses. Texas was the only other state with more than 10,000 farms selling directly. Regionally, the southeast and northeast had the most farms engaged in direct sales of food (32,516 and 30,297 farms, respectively).
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2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey
The 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey is the first-ever survey conducted by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service to produce benchmark data about local food marketing practices. This 2012 Census of Agriculture special study provides data on the marketing of locally and regionally produced agricultural food products, as directed under the 2014 Farm Bill.
View and download the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices data from the NASS Quick Stats database.