Chapter 2: Goals & Data
Goal 13: Local food will be available at all Vermont market outlets and increasingly available at regional, national, and international market outlets.
Demand for locally sourced food is growing throughout the country as evidenced by increasing direct sales (e.g., via farm stands, farmers' markets, CSAs, and internet sales) across the country, including in New England (see Goal 1). Increasing Vermont producers’ access to all types of local and regional grocery stores, restaurants and institutions—where most food is purchased—is a necessary precursor to significantly expand consumption of locally grown products.
What does the data show? There is evidence that most produce farmers in New England sell their products through direct sales channels. Vermont had the highest percentage of New England states with produce farms that reported direct to retail sales (31%). A statewide survey of independent grocers conducted by the Supply and Demand Task Force found that 95% of respondents (N=73) stated that they would like to source more local food. Larger stores cited lack of consistent supply as their greatest barrier to purchasing more local food, while smaller stores reported that they need more consumer demand for local products.
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- Most New England Produce Farms Sell Directly to Consumers; a Smaller Percent Sell Direct to Retail and Wholesale (2012)
- Independent Grocers in Vermont Already Stock Many Categories of Local Food Products (2013)
- Local Coffee and Dairy Products Made up Largest Percent of Total Revenue From Local Products by Category and Store Size at Independent Grocers in Vermont (2013)
- Coffee, Dairy Products, and Produce Were the Top Revenue Generators from Local Food Products at Independent Grocers in Vermont (2013)
- Customer Demand, Lower Prices, and More Consistent Supply Were the Top Things Independent Grocers Would Need in Order to Sell More Local Food (2013)
- Share of Food Sales at Grocery Stores and Supercenters Increased from 1983 to 2014