The Producer’s Perspective: Examining the Challenges of Providing Local Food

By Megan McGuffey.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 23, 2016 $US5.00

As the movement toward more localized food systems grows, place-based research is needed to understand the promises and challenges for those involved in rebuilding healthy local food systems. The farmers (producers) growing and selling local food provide key insights into how public policies and local conditions impact their ability to feed communities. This study pairs a survey of producers with in-depth interviews of farmers in Nebraska to identify both supply and demand issues with producing local food. The primary findings suggest that access to resources such as land, capital, and labor impact producers’ ability to grow. Producers also struggle with finding the proper market for their product. Some farmers are too large for one local market, while others struggle to scale up enough to meet demands of potential buyers. By examining local conditions more closely we can to begin understand how public policy and other factors help or hinder producers as they work to feed our communities.

Keywords: Local Foods, Food Policy, Food Markets, Food Producers, Food Systems Planning, Food Assessments

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.13-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 23, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 510.506KB)).

Megan McGuffey

Doctoral Student, School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, USA