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USDA releases Local Food Marketing Survey results

staff writer

The National Ag Statistic Service released the results of its first-ever Local Food Marketing Practices Survey this week. Over 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices.

That resulted in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2015. Farmers who sold directly to institutions and intermediaries like wholesalers who would locally brand the product brought in the most money at $3.4 billion.

Roughly 115,000 American farms sell their products direct to consumers, through on-farm stores or farmers’ markets. That segment of producers took in $3 billion in sales. A group of farmers also sold to retailers, pulling in $2.3 billion in profit.

The top five states in direct food sales were California, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania led the nation in farms selling their products directly to consumers with over 6,000 operations. Only eight percent of U.S. operations were selling directly to consumers through an online market.

The survey also concluded over 80 percent of all direct marketing food sales were made within 100 miles of the farm. Most farms selling to consumers were within 20 miles of their largest grossing marketplace.