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Growing Local

Growing Local: Case Studies on Local Food Supply Chains

Robert P. King
Michael S. Hand
Miguel I. Gómez
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 432
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  • Book Info
    Growing Local
    Book Description:

    In an increasingly commercialized world, the demand for better quality, healthier food has given rise to one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. food system: locally grown food. Many believe that "relocalization" of the food system will provide a range of public benefits, including lower carbon emissions, increased local economic activity, and closer connections between consumers, farmers, and communities. The structure of local food supply chains, however, may not always be capable of generating these perceived benefits.

    Growing Localreports the findings from a coordinated series of case studies designed to develop a deeper, more nuanced understanding of how local food products reach consumers and how local food supply chains compare with mainstream supermarket supply chains. To better understand how local food reaches the point of sale,Growing Localuses case study methods to rigorously compare local and mainstream supply chains for five products in five metropolitan areas along multiple social, economic, and environmental dimensions, highlighting areas of growth and potential barriers.Growing Localprovides a foundation for a better understanding of the characteristics of local food production and emphasizes the realities of operating local food supply chains.

    eISBN: 978-0-8032-5699-6
    Subjects: Business, Sociology, Technology
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Tables (pp. ix-x)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. Part 1. Understanding Local Food Systems from a Supply Chain Perspective
    • 1 From Farms to Consumers: An Introduction to Supply Chains for Local Foods (pp. 3-13)
      Miguel I. Gómez and Michael S. Hand

      The termlocal foodsconjures vivid and specific images among consumers, food connoisseurs, and scholars. Many people think of the fresh young vegetables and the first ripe strawberries that appear in farmers markets in the spring and the apples and winter squash that herald fall’s arrival at the end of the market season. For others, what comes to mind is a roadside farm stand, discovered by accident during a Saturday drive out of town and packed with a variety of straight-from-the-field produce. More and more, the picture of local foods also includes signs in supermarkets identifying certain products as local,...

    • 2 Research Design for Local Food Case Studies (pp. 14-32)
      Robert P. King, Michael S. Hand and Gigi DiGiacomo

      This chapter begins with a review of conceptual foundations for studying local food supply chains and presents a series of specific research questions that form the basis of our case study analysis and data collection. The discussion of conceptual foundations centers around four issues: (1) defininglocal; (2) supply chain structure; (3) supply chain size; and (4) supply chain performance. The chapter concludes with an explanation of the unit of analysis for the case studies and a description of the overall research design for the study, which can be classified as a multiple case design.

      Despite its growing use in...

  7. Part 2: Case Studies on Local Food Supply Chains
    • 3 Apple Case Studies in the Syracuse MSA (pp. 35-84)
      Miguel I. Gómez, Edward W. McLaughlin and Kristen S. Park

      This case describes the movement of apples through three different marketing channels in Syracuse, New York:

      a supermarket chain (mainstream supply chain),

      a producer who sells at a farmers market (direct market supply chain), and

      a school district that purchases local apples for inclusion in school lunches (intermediated supply chain).

      The production area for local food products is defined as the entire state of New York for these case studies. The three case studies describe the nature of the three different supply chains (mainstream, direct, and intermediated) to examine and evaluate differences and similarities regarding supply chain structure, size, and...

    • 4 Blueberry Case Studies in the Portland-Vancouver MSA (pp. 85-126)
      Larry Lev

      This set of case studies describes three fresh blueberry supply chains in the Portland-Vancouver MSA (referred to as Portland):

      a major supermarket chain supplied in part by a local grower-packer-shipper (mainstream supply chain),

      a producer who sells through farmers markets and farm stands (direct market supply chain), and

      a regional natural foods store chain that features locally produced berries (intermediated supply chain).

      Products that are produced, processed, and distributed in Oregon and Washington (referred to as the Northwest) are defined as “local.” Supply chains that distribute local products and convey information that enables consumers to identify the products as local...

    • 5 Spring Mix Case Studies in the Sacramento MSA (pp. 127-177)
      Shermain D. Hardesty

      The following case studies describe three supply chains for spring mix in the Sacramento Metropolitan Statistical Area:

      an upscale regional supermarket chain (mainstream supply chain),

      a local producer selling at a farmers market (direct market supply chain), and

      a natural foods grocery cooperative selling locally grown spring mix (intermediated supply chain).

      For this study, “local” refers to spring mix grown, processed (if necessary), and shipped by firms within the Sacramento area; this definition distinguishes it from spring mix grown in the Salinas Valley, which is approximately 175 miles (a three-hour drive) from downtown Sacramento. Most of the local spring mix...

    • 6 Beef Case Studies in the Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington MSA (pp. 178-227)
      Robert P. King, Gigi DiGiacomo and Gerald F. Ortmann

      This series of case studies describes the distribution of beef through three supply chains in the Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA):

      natural, store-brand beef sold through an upscale supermarket chain (mainstream nonlocal food supply chain),

      locally produced grass-fed beef sold direct to consumers (direct market local food supply chain), and

      locally processed, branded grass-fed beef sold in supermarkets, restaurants, and food service outlets (intermediated local food supply chain).

      Products that are produced and/or processed and distributed in Minnesota and Wisconsin are defined aslocal. Supply chains that distribute local products and convey information that enables consumers to...

    • 7 Fluid Milk Case Studies in the Washington DC Area (pp. 228-264)
      Michael S. Hand and Kate Clancy

      This set of case studies describes the distribution of fluid milk through three different supply chains in the Washington DC metropolitan area:

      private-label milk that is processed by a producer cooperative and sold in mainstream supermarkets,

      direct farm-to-consumer home delivery, and

      locally produced milk that is sold at a small chain of organic markets.

      Washington DC is the hub of a major metropolitan area in the mid-Atlantic region. We consider supply chains that primarily serve customers in the core of the Washington DC area, within either the District of Columbia proper or its neighboring counties. For these case studies a...

  8. Part 3: A Synthesis of Case Study Findings
    • 8 Product Prices and Availability (pp. 267-290)
      Kristen S. Park, Miguel I. Gómez, Gerald F. Ortmann and Jeffrey Horwich

      Two important questions for members of supply chains that produce and distribute local food products are: “When are local products available?” and “Does the attribute ‘local’ exhibit retail price premiums in the marketplace?” In this chapter we address these two critical characteristics of products sold through local supply chains.

      Parallel to this series of coordinated case studies, we collected data on weekly availability of products, prices, varieties, attributes (e.g. organic, local) and package types of the five case study products: apples, blueberries, spring mix, ground beef, and fluid milk. The weekly data were collected from a variety of retail outlets...

    • 9 What Does Local Deliver? (pp. 291-312)
      Larry Lev, Michael S. Hand and Gigi DiGiacomo

      Throughout this volume we have presented insights from a set of case studies on the comparative performance of local and mainstream food production and distribution systems. This chapter poses the broad question: “What does local deliver?” and uses the case study findings and other available research to seek a response. Although the case studies do not yield observations along all possible dimensions of food system performance, they do suggest how supply chain structure and size are important determinants of local supply chain performance.

      In the sections that follow, we examine how performance varies for supply chains that differ in terms...

    • 10 Can Local Food Markets Expand? (pp. 313-329)
      Edward W. McLaughlin, Shermain D. Hardesty and Miguel I. Gómez

      Chapter 9 discussed the challenges of assessing the performance of local food supply chains relative to their mainstream counterparts. In this essay we turn our attention to the question: “Can local food markets expand?” Consumers’ growing interest in foods with a variety of attributes associated with being “locally produced” provides the rationale for raising this question. We argue that a very large expansion of sales through direct markets is likely to be infeasible from a consumer perspective. In fact, a recent USDA study estimated that of the $4.8 billion in sales of locally grown foods marketed in the United States...

    • 11 What Role Do Public Policies and Programs Play in the Growth of Local Foods? (pp. 330-345)
      Michael S. Hand and Kate Clancy

      As local foods have become a more popular and visible segment of the U.S. food system, there has been increased interest in public policies and programs designed to support the expansion of local foods. Much of the growth in local foods can be explained by factors outside the policy realm, such as consumer demand for product attributes and for linkages with the source of their food that are not available for products in mainstream supply chains. Yet there have been many notable attempts in the public sphere at federal, state, and local levels to encourage development of and support growth...

    • 12 A Look to the Future (pp. 346-348)
      Robert P. King, Miguel I. Gómez and Michael S. Hand

      Our contemporary food system is the product of an evolutionary process that began in the late nineteenth century with the development of new technologies for food processing and preservation, new modes of transportation and communication, and new forms of business organization. National and international brands, large and highly specialized production systems, year-round availability of a wide array of fresh products, the supermarket, and mass media food advertising are all twentieth-century innovations. The early twenty-first-century local food movement is at once a part of that evolutionary process and a reaction against it.

      The allure of local food products stems from their...

  9. CONTRIBUTORS (pp. 349-350)
  10. INDEX (pp. 351-365)
  11. Back Matter (pp. 366-368)