There has been a growing interest in the U.S. to study local and regional food systems with respect to economic, social, and enterprise development. This paper discusses a series of on-going projects funded by the USDA focusing on two aspects of the relationships between social network and food choices – producers, and interactions between producers and consumers (buyers). Preliminary results showed distribution and opportunities for agricultural producers to exploit and implement new strategies that would enhance marketing and management by taking advantage of the capacity of social/economic networks in/around communities. Long-term goal on completion these studies will compare and contrast local, regional, and national approaches to design and implement effective marketing and management strategies that aim to promote local/regional food networks from social, economic, and ecological perspectives.


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