USDA: Local food sales important to agriculture

USDA: Local food sales important to agriculture

April 4, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. (RFD-TV) “What is the MS [Marketing Service] doing in this are to ensure the U.S. is able to maintain or build upon an agricultural transportation system that can compete with the likes of China, Europe and Brazil?” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.).

He also wants to know if the Agricultural Marketing Service is requesting additional funds for regional food hubs at the expense of national needs.

“Which could eventually lead to a loss in competitive advantage in international markets,” said Yoder.

Ed Avalos, Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, quelled any reason for such concerns.

“There really is a tremendous buzz all over the country on local foods. In fact, local food sales have continued to increase. Now they’re over $7 billion a year,” said Avalos.

He says the No. 1 national trend with supermarkets and restaurants is local food.

“This is important to a lot of components of agriculture. In reality, it’s an economic driver for our communities. Local foods creates jobs. It keeps many farmers, mostly small farmers, on the farm. It keeps farmland in farm production,” Avalos said.

He added it in no way negatively impacts mainstream ag resources.

This report is from our partners at the USDA.

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