Posted January 2009
Eating locally is going mainstream. For years, committed eaters have gone out of their way to source local food from farmers’ markets, farms, roadside stands and Community Supported Agriculture drop-off sites. With more and more people wanting to incorporate local food into their meals, however, how do we make local food affordable and convenient for everyone?
With support from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, CIAS is researching distribution models for local food. Across the United States, entrepreneurs, cooperatives and nonprofits are filling an important missing link in local food systems: aggregating food from local farms and distributing it to stores, restaurants, eaters and other retailers and end users. We have created a map of some of these distribution models. Go to the full-sized map for a list of the models and detailed descriptions.
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CIAS and the UW-Extension Ag Innovation Center have written a report featuring case studies of some of these distribution models: “Scaling Up: Meeting the Demand for Local Food.”