Local Food, Organics, and Sustainability

Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 38)


There are a diverse set of factors driving new markets, programs, and brands for organic, local, and other sustainable foods. Certain groups of agricultural producers and the food industry are increasingly sharing information about production practices and the source of foods to differentiate products, segment consumer demand, and gain a competitive advantage. Marketing efforts are increasingly focused on the promotion of food attributes so that producer–consumer interaction in direct markets and food labels in more conventional food retail venues are increasingly important to market performance. By exploring the potential efficiency trade-offs of food systems that constrain production and distribution choices against models that may provide environmental, social, or other community benefits, this chapter provides an important synopsis of key criteria for policy discussions. An overview of the marketing programs that may play a role in shaping sustainable food system supply chain approaches concludes the chapter.


  1. AEA Technology (2005) The Validity of Food Miles as an Indicator of Sustainable Development. Report to Defra, HMSO, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Badgley C, Moghtader J, Quintero E, Zakem E, Chappell MJ, Avilés-Vázquez K, Samulon A, Perfecto I (2007) Organic agriculture and the global food supply. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 22: 86–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bond CA, Thilmany D, Keeling Bond J (2008a) What to Choose? The Value of Label Claims to Produce Consumers. J Agr and Resour Econ 33(3): 402–427Google Scholar
  4. Bond C, Thilmany D, Bond JK (2008b) Understanding Consumer Interest in Product and Process-Based Attributes for Fresh Produce. Agribus: An International J 24(2): 231–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, C. (2003) Consumers Preferences for Locally Produced Food: A Study in Southeast Missouri. Amer J of Alternative Agr 18(4):213–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, S, Getz C (2008) Towards Domestic Fair Trade? Farm labor, food localism, and the ‘family scale’Farm. Geo J 73(1): 11–22Google Scholar
  7. Bruhn, CM, Vossen PM, Chapman E, Vaupel S (1992) Consumer attitudes toward locally grown produce. Calif Agr 46:13–16Google Scholar
  8. Carpio, C. E. and O. Isengildina-Massa. 2009. “Consumer willingness to pay for locally grown products: the case of South Carolina.” Agribusiness 25(3): 412–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clancy, Kate & Ruhf, Kathryn, 2010. “Is Local Enough? Some Arguments for Regional Food Systems,” Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 25(1).Google Scholar
  10. Cloud, J. 2007. “My Search for the Perfect Apple.” Time magazine, 12 Mar. 2007, pp. 42–50.Google Scholar
  11. Dentoni, D, G.T. Tonsor, R.J. Calantone, and H.C. Peterson. 2009. “The Direct and Indirect Effects of ‘Locally Grown’ on Consumers’ Attitudes towards Agri-Food Products.” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 38(3): 384–96.Google Scholar
  12. Giraud, L.K., C.A. Bond, and J.J. Bond. 2005. “Consumer Preference for Locally Made Specialty Food Products Across Northern New England.” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 34(2):204–216.Google Scholar
  13. Hartmann Group 2009. Sustainability: The Rise of Consumer Responsibility. www.hartman-group.com.
  14. Howard, P. H. and P. Allen. 2010. “Beyond Organic and Fair Trade? An Analysis of Ecolabel Preferences in the United States.” Rural Sociology. 75 (2): 244–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hu, W., T. Woods, S. Bastin. 2009. “Consumer Acceptance and Willingness to Pay for Blueberry Products with Nonconventional Attributes.” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 41(1): 47–60.Google Scholar
  16. LocalHarvest. 2010, “Community Supported Agriculture.” Retrieved August 2010 (http://www.localharvest.org/csa/).
  17. LOHAS 2009. The LOHAS Economy. http://www.lohas.com/
  18. Loureiro, M., S. Hine. 2002. “Discovering Niche Markets: A Comparison of Consumer Willingness to Pay for Local (Colorado Grown), Organic, and GMO-Free Products.” Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics 34(3): 477–487Google Scholar
  19. Lohr, L. and T. Park. 2006. “Technical efficiency of U.S. organic farmers: the complementary roles of soil management techniques and farm experience.” Agricultural and Resource Economics Review: 35, 327–338.Google Scholar
  20. Lohr, L. and T. Park. 2010. “Local Selling Decisions and the Technical Efficiency of Organic Farms.” Sustainability 2, no. 1: 189–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Low, S., and Vogel, S. (2011). Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States. Economic Research Report-128. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.Google Scholar
  22. Lusk, J.L. and B.C. Briggeman. 2009. “Food Values.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 91(1): 184–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mabiso, A., J.A. Stern, L. House and A.F. Wysocki. 2005. “Estimating Consumers’ Willingness-To-Pay for Country-Of-Origin Labels in Fresh Apples and Tomatoes: A Double-Hurdle Probit Analysis of American Data Using Factor Scores,” 2005 AAEA Annual meeting, July 24–27, Providence, RI.Google Scholar
  24. Martinez, S., M. Hand, M. Da Pra, S. Pollack, K. Ralston, T. Smith, S. Vogel, S. Clark, L. Lohr, S. Low, and C. Newman. 2010. Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues, ERR 97, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May 2010.Google Scholar
  25. McBride, W.D. and C. Greene. 2009a. “Costs of Organic Milk Production on U.S. Dairy Farms,” Review of Agricultural Economics 31 (winter): 793–813.Google Scholar
  26. McBride, W.D. and C. Greene. 2009b. Characteristics, costs, and issues for organic dairy farming. Economic research report, United States. Dept. of Agriculture. Economic Research Service, no. 82.Google Scholar
  27. Morgan, D., S. Renzi, R. Cook, and H. Radenovic. 2007. Seattle Food System Enhancement Project: Greenhouse Gas Emission Study. Accessed June 2009 at: http://students.washington.edu/djmorgan/food/Final_Neighborhood_Report.pdf.
  28. Muller, B. 2007. “Food Miles or Poverty Education? The Moral Duty to Eat African Strawberries at Christmas. Oxford Energy and Environment Comment. Available at http://brusselsbriefings.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/muller-paper.pdf (accessed October, 2009)
  29. Onozaka, Y., G. Nurse and D. T. McFadden. 2011. Defining Sustainable Food Market Segments: Do Motivations and Values Vary by Shopping Locale? American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 93(2): 583–589Google Scholar
  30. Packaged Facts. July 2011. Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 3rd Edition, MarketResearch.com, New York, NY.Google Scholar
  31. Pelsmacker, PA, L. Driesen, and G. Rayp. 2005. “Do Consumers Care About Ethics? Willingness to Pay for Fair-Trade Coffee.” The Journal of Consumer Affairs. 39(2):363–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Raynolds, L.T., M. Long, D. Murray, and D. Thilmany. 2009. “A Comparative Analysis of Certifications for the American Conscious Consumer Economy. CSU working paper submitted to the Journal of Business Ethics.Google Scholar
  33. Serra, T.and B.K. Goodwin. 2009. “The efficiency of Spanish arable crop organic farms: a local maximum likelihood approach.” Journal of Productivity Analysis: 31, 113–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Siegel, J. 2010. “Profit Trends in Organic Food Markets.” The Triple Pundit online. Accessed in September 2010 at: http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/09/profit-trends-in-organic-food-markets/
  35. Stephenson, G.W. and R. Pirog. 2008. Values-Based Supply Chains: Strategies for Agrifood Enterprises-of-the-Middle. In Renewing an Agriculture-of-the-Middle: Situation and Strategy for the Center of the U.S. Food System, MIT Press, T. Lyson, G. Stevenson, and R. Welsh, editors.Google Scholar
  36. Umberger, W.J., D.M. Fuez, C.R. Calkins, and K. Killenger-Mann. 2002. “U.S. Consumer Preference and Willingness-to-Pay for Domestic Corn-Fed Beef versus International Grass-Fed Beef Measured Through an Experimental Auction.” Agribusiness 18:491–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. U. S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Marketing Services, 2010. Farmers Market Growth. Accessed August 2010 at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/
  38. U.S. Department of Agriculture. National Institute for Food and Agriculture. 2012. Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative Grant Summary. Accessed May 2012. Available at: (http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/organicagricultureresearchandextensioninitiative.cfm)
  39. Walz, E. 2009. “Final Results of the Fourth National Organic Farmers’ Survey.” Organic Farming Research Foundation: Santa Cruz, CA, USA; Available online: http://ofrf.org/publications/survey.html (accessed May 2011)
  40. Weber, C.L. and H.S. Matthews. 2008. “Food Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States.” Environmental Science and Technology 42(10):3508-3513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Whole Foods. 2010. Food Shopping Trends Tracker. Accessed August 2010 at: http://wholefoodsmarket.com/pressroom/

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

Personalised recommendations