The National Ag Statistics Service released the results of its first-ever Local Food Marketing Practices Survey this week. Over 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices. That resulted in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2015. Farmers who sold directly to institutions and intermediaries like wholesalers who would locally brand the product brought in the most money at $3.4 billion. Roughly 115,000 American farms sell their products direct to consumers, through on-farm stores or farmers’ markets. That segment of producers took in $3 billion in sales. A group of farmers also sold to retailers, pulling in $2.3 billion in profit. The top five states in direct food sales were California, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania led the nation in farms selling their products directly to consumers with over 6,000 operations. Only eight percent of U.S. operations were selling directly to consumers through an online market. The survey also concluded over 80 percent of all direct marketing food sales were made within 100 miles of the farm. Most farms selling to consumers were within 20 miles of their largest grossing marketplace.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
What is the 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. Information will include the number of agricultural operations in the United States that produce local foods, the value of local foods sales, and marketing practices and expenses. This census study will provide data on the production and marketing of locally and regionally produced agricultural food products, as directed under the 2014 Farm Bill.