As a store buyer, working with local producers might be a new approach. That’s great!
More local products mean happier customers. Buying from local producers isn’t necessarily the same as buying from a distributor or warehouse. Here are five things to know about working with local producers.
- 90% of farms in the U.S. are small farms, with an average 10 acres of land. [USDA]. Large-scale family farms – those of xxxx acres or more, represent just 2.5% of U.S. farms. [https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/farming-and-farm-income/]
- Women make up 30% of farmers [Stacker]. Today more than half of farms have one woman as a decision-maker in the business.
- Local farms sell more food through intermediaries than directly to consumers. These include farmers market, food hubs, local grocery stores, and farm-to-school programs. In 2012, 54.8% of profits for the farmers was generated by intermediated sales while 18.8% was from Direct to Consumer method. [https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/Why%20Local%20Food%20Matters.pdf]
- Local food has more nutrients. Shorter time between harvest and your dinner table makes you less likely to lose any nutrients compared to the food imported from a further distance. Fruits and vegetables start to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked. [https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/7_benefits_of_eating_local_foods#:~:text=Local%20food%20has%20more%20nutrients,it%20gets%20to%20your%20store.]
- Two out of five small farms in the US turn a profit each year. Most local farmers need outside work to make ends meet.
If you see local produce in your grocery stores, farmers market, or other business, support local and support the future of food. Big Wheelbarrow is working hard to help grocery stores bring more locally grown producers into their stores.