Posted January 2010
Robust local food systems offer social, environmental and economic benefits. Increasingly, wholesale buyers are demanding locally grown food and growers are looking for new regional markets. In order to meet the demand for locally and regionally grown food and move significant quantities of this food into markets such as restaurants, mainstream grocery stores and institutions, local food systems need to be scaled up or expanded from farmer-direct sales of small quantities of product to wholesale transactions. By scaling up, local food systems have the potential to borrow some of the economic and logistical efficiencies of the industrial food system while retaining social and environmental priorities such as sustainable agricultural practices and profitability for small- and mid-scale family farms and businesses.
To develop informed business development strategies for Wisconsin farmers and other supply chain start-ups, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) and UW-Extension Agricultural Innovation Center studied and documented eleven models of regional food aggregation and distribution. This work was made possible by a grant from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment.
Download either the full report (medium resolution PDF) or individual sections (high resolution PDFs):
Full report (5 MB)
Front cover, acknowledgments and table of contents
Cherry Capital Foods
Co-op Partners Warehouse
Fennimore Produce Auction
High Desert Foods
Organic Valley Produce Program
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wescott Agri Products
Appendix 1: Case studies at a glance
Appendix 2: Additional distribution models for local and regional food; Apendix 3: Additional resources for Wisconsin entrepreneurs