The Direct to Consumer Market
The topic of this term is to weigh the benefits and costs of shipping food production overseas, but I felt it to be relevant and important to first understand the process and costs of the food market from local production directly to the consumers. An article posted by Sustainable Table has provided information on this topic and outlines ways in which food is kept ‘local’ and not imported internationally.
Sustainable Table defines food direct to the consumer as “all middlemen are cut out of the food distribution equation – farmers sell their products directly to consumers – rather than third parties, such as grocery stores”. The popular way of direct consumer food sells as outlined by the article were:
1. Farmer’s Markets – a place where multiple farmers gather in a communal spot to sell their products to direct customers.
2. Community Supported Agriculture – where consumers are able to “buy a share” in a farmer’s production or crops
3. Other Direct to Consumer programs – Places such as food stands on a local farm, or consumers being invited to help harvest their food for purchase.
Buying local helps community farmer’s harvest their crops and keep their farms running year after year as well as cutting down international shipping and production costs, risking high preservatives in the food we buy at the grocery store, etc. This topic directly relates to our overarching topic for the term because we can now understand food production on a bigger and deeper level rather than remote costs and sales. In our text for the term, Gardner speaks about changing minds to instill a better or changed behavior (2006, p.5). After doing research on this topic we will understand what, if necessary, we need to do to being influencing the mind of others to “shop smarter” and on a larger scale, producing smarter. To do so, we can try and implement Gardner’s explanation of the “80/20 Principle” in terms of finding a solution that gives 80% improvement to the situation with a minimal 20% effort for the consumers (7).
For more information on this topic and to see the original photo posted below, please see the website http://www.sustainabletable.org/254/local-regional-food-systems.
(Sustainble Table Food Project Article from website)
Gardner, H. (2006). Changing Minds. Boston: MA., Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data.