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Who Benefits from Local? Participants in Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Outlets for Agricultural Products in Los Angeles

  • Author(s): Kellogg, Stephanie
  • Advisor(s): Tilly, Chris
  • et al.

The purpose of this study was to assess the attributes of vendors certified to sell produce in Los Angeles County farmers markets and relate these vendor attributes to goals of the “local food movement.” This movement is characterized by marked consumer preference for locally produced food. In particular, data were collected through qualitative interviews and quantitative producer output records to determine whether markets support an alternative production model akin to the local food movement, or whether markets supplement established mass-production oriented producers. Markets are considered to support a different kind of agricultural practice if participants in the markets are largely growers that rely on Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) marketing for a significant portion of their revenue. Because reliable responses to this line of inquiry are particularly rare, results are not conclusive. Instead, they are meant to draw inferences, and help to provide context for a more thorough analysis of the topic. This research demonstrates that farmer’s markets benefit both more large-scale producers and small-scale than is typical for farms in California, but is also particularly detrimental to mid-scale producers.

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