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SECTION FOUR Distribution While much attention has been given to issues of urban production, until recently far less effort has been put toward understanding distribution systems that work for local foods in urban areas. If production is for hyperlocal consumption or direct marketing only, then distribution is perhaps not as much of a concern; however, time and energy spent distributing produce in urban areas can quickly become prohibitive for farms that market in several different locations or retail outlets. Peri-urban farms with connections to urban markets may find distribution to be the primary hurdle to increasing sales, and urban farms spread out across multiple lots in a city may find transportation delays and expenses a significant barrier to expanding. While most urban-agriculture practitioners do not seek to scale up to the level of conventional wholesale markets, many are seeking ways to streamline distribution , learning from mainstream distributors while preserving the values of alternative food movements. The case study of the Regional Access company in chapter 11 demonstrates the synergies created when urban food systems are linked to peri-urban and 178 distribution more rural farms within the region. This acknowledges that cities will not produce enough food to meet their food needs but provides an alternative to the conventional supply chain. Regional Access provides an example of a company that provides aggregation, warehousing, distribution, and marketing infrastructure—the same services that conventional supply chains offer—while maintaining the farm-to-consumer relationships and trust that are so key to local food systems. Chapter 12 describes a marketing innovation that has increased food access in areas conventional supermarkets have abandoned. Rather than trying to attract only supermarkets to these neighborhoods, the city of Chicago has supported farmers markets, returning, in a way, to the historical reliance on public markets to deliver fresh foods to cities. The recent prominence of the supermarket has masked the many other possible solutions to food access, including farmers markets, corner stores, and other small retail outlets, which may be able to address food insecurity more rapidly and more appropriately than larger grocery chains. Chapter 12 provides a framework for assessing issues of food access that is more complete than simple distance to grocery stores, and an example of how this can be applied in a city like Chicago. ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781609384388
Related ISBN
9781609384371
MARC Record
OCLC
960871725
Pages
349
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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