Over the past decade, public demand for local food has become one of the fastest-growing segments of the food sector. National business and trade associations as well as nonprofits have traced this trend through extensive economic data and personal surveys. What this data reveals about people’s preferences is this: regardless of whether one lives in a rural or urban area, or one is young or older, demand for local food is increasing rapidly across almost all communities.
At the same time, growing demand for local food is outstripping supply because of bottlenecks in the food supply chain that prevent products from getting to consumers. These bottlenecks range from lack of distribution hubs and processing facilities to stable markets. There needs to be more local investment in this infrastructure to help get more local products to consumers at a good return to farmers and a good price for consumers.
This recent Business Insider article authored by Oran Hesterman, founder of the Fair Food Network, and Dan Horan of Five Acre Farms in New York, traces these trends, the impacts on the local food sector and the powerful role of investing in the local food economy. This is the role that BAV plays in this region.