Putting Local Food on the Menu: Challenges and Solutions to Sustaining the Local Food Sector

Sophia Kruszewski
Consumers commonly identify supporting the local economy as the primary motivating factor for purchasing local food

Consumers commonly identify supporting the local economy as the primary motivating factor for purchasing local food

MinDof via Shutterstock

There is no denying that local food is trendy. From the Oxford University Press proclaiming “locavore” word of the year in 2007, to news outlets crediting Millennials with driving demand for local food in a quest not only for health and sustainability, but also authenticity and convenience, local food has become a convergence point for the overlapping goals of environmentalism, economic development, and food security. Consumers commonly identify supporting the local economy as the primary motivating factor for purchasing local food, followed by the quality and healthfulness of local products, concerns about food miles and carbon footprints, and the desire to support organic and sustainable farming practices. Meeting that demand for local food requires financially viable farm businesses and the infrastructure to get local products. Public policy and accessible and affordable legal services can play an important role in sustaining the local food sector and supporting innovations along the supply chain.

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