From USDA's Economic Research Service Report "Local Food Systems:
Concepts, Impacts, and Issues":
• Direct-to-consumer marketing amounted to $1.2 billion in current dollar sales in 2007, according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, compared with $551 million in 1997.
• Direct-to-consumer sales accounted for 0.4 percent of total agricultural sales in 2007, up from 0.3 percent in 1997. If nonedible products are excluded from total agricultural sales, direct-to consumer sales accounted for 0.8 percent of agricultural sales in 2007.
• The number of farmers’ markets rose to 5,274 in 2009, up from 2,756 in 1998 and 1,755 in 1994, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.
• In 2005, there were 1,144 community-supported agriculture organizations, up from 400 in 2001 and 2 in 1986, according to a study by the National Center for Appropriate Technology. In early 2010, estimates exceeded 1,400, but the number could be much larger.
• The number of farm to school programs, which use local farms as food suppliers for school meals programs and promote relationships between schools and farms, increased to 2,095 in 2009, up from 400 in 2004 and 2 in the 1996-97 school year, according to the National Farm to School Network. Data from the 2005 School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment Survey, sponsored by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, showed that 14 percent of school districts participated in Farm to School programs, and 16 percent reported having guidelines for purchasing locally grown produce.