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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

No Small Change For Local Producers

Farmers sold nearly $5 billion dollars worth of local produce in 2008, and that number is expected to rise.

local farmers

Photo: Corey Templeton (Flickr)

Eating local impacts the economy -- a recent USDA report found local produce made a $5 billion dollar mark.

A new study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives a number to what locavores might have speculated — local food is big business.

Local fruits and vegetables produced $4.8 billion dollars in 2008, the report said, and that number is expected to hit about $7 billion this year.

Even more exciting for local farmers, 80 percent of the local produce sales came from small farms making $50,000 a year or less.

Most of the revenue however comes from larger farms making $250,000 or more a year.

Overall the local produce sales only make up about 2 percent of total produce sales, but the number is encouraging for those promoting eating local.

Read More:

  • Local Food Is No Small Potatoes: Farmers Fake In Almost $5 Billion (NPR)
  • Farmers markets double, local food sales to hit $7 billion, USDA says (Los Angeles Times)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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