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Differential expenditure patterns of local food system participants

  • Becca B.R. Jablonski (a1) and Todd M. Schmit (a2)

Abstract

Since 2009 the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has funded over 2600 local food initiatives. However, the economic impacts of these policies remain unclear largely due to data deficiencies that preclude the understanding of differential expenditure patterns of farms participating in these local market channels (both in terms of what inputs they require, and where the inputs are purchased—local or not). This paper utilizes two unique data sets from samples of producers in New York State (NYS) to build expenditure profiles for local food system participants. We employ USDA Agricultural Resource Management Survey data as a robustness check on our results. The primary contribution of this paper is to provide preliminary evidence that local food system participants in NYS have different expenditure patterns than farmers who do not sell through local food markets. We show that farmers with local food sales have higher reliance on local labor and other variable expenses as primary inputs than farms without local food sales, and that local food producers spend a higher percentage of total expenditure in the local economy. Based on our results, we recommend that future economic impact assessments utilize revised expenditure profiles that more accurately reflect inter-industry linkages of the local food sector.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: becca.jablonski@colostate.edu

References

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