Growing Local


Growing Local

Case Studies on Local Food Supply Chains

Edited by Robert P. King, Michael S. Hand, and Miguel I. Gómez

Our Sustainable Future Series

384 pages
30 illustrations, 27 tables, index


February 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

February 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

February 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

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 Local reports 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 Local uses 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 Local provides a foundation for a better understanding of the characteristics of local food production and emphasizes the realities of operating local food supply chains.

Author Bio

Robert P. King is a professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. Michael S. Hand is a research economist with the USDA Forest Service in Missoula, Montana. Miguel I. Gómez is Ruth and William Morgan Assistant Professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.


“A systematic and objective view of local food supply chains by means of an impressive collection of case studies. The breadth of case studies, in terms of products, geographic locations, and market channel options, makes the book a worthwhile addition to local food literature. . . . [It] both informs and challenges researchers, students, and local food practitioners.”—Rodney B. Holcomb, American Journal of Agricultural Economics

“The subject is highly important to the current and future development of the food industry, especially for local alternatives. . . . [Growing Local] makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of contemporary issues in the food system.”—Charles Francis, professor of agronomy and horticulture and the former director of the Center for Sustainable Agriculture Systems at the University of Nebraska

Table of Contents

List of Figures    
List of Tables    
Part 1. Understanding Local Food Systems from a Supply Chain Perspective
1. From Farms to Consumers: An Introduction to Supply Chains for Local Foods    
Miguel I. Gómez and Michael S. Hand
2. Research Design for Local Food Case Studies    
Robert P. King, Michael S. Hand, and Gigi DiGiacomo
Part 2: Case Studies on Local Food Supply Chains
3. Apple Case Studies in the Syracuse, New York, MSA    
Miguel I. Gómez, Edward W. McLaughlin, and Kristen S. Park
4. Blueberry Case Studies in the Portland-Vancouver MSA    
Larry Lev
5. Spring Mix Case Studies in the Sacramento MSA    
Shermain D. Hardesty
6. Beef Case Studies in the Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington MSA    
Robert P. King, Gigi DiGiacomo, and Gerald F. Ortmann
7. Fluid Milk Case Studies in the Washington DC Area    
Michael S. Hand and Kate Clancy
Part 3: A Synthesis of Case Study Findings
8. Product Prices and Availability    
Kristen S. Park, Miguel I. Gómez, Gerald F. Ortmann, and Jeffrey Horwich
9. What Does Local Deliver?    
Larry Lev, Michael S. Hand, and Gigi DiGiacomo
10. Can Local Food Markets Expand?    
Edward W. McLaughlin, Shermain D. Hardesty, and Miguel I. Gómez
11. What Role Do Public Policies and Programs Play in the Growth of Local Foods?    
Michael S. Hand and Kate Clancy
12. A Look to the Future    
Robert P. King, Miguel I. Gómez, and Michael S. Hand

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