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Abstract

The potential advantages of locally grown produce are mainly related to the coexistence of production and consumption in the same area. These advantages are: reduced transportation, freshness, better taste, easy traceability, transparency, food safety, environmental sustainability and community development. Despite these positive aspects, the money spent for locally grown produce represents only a small percentage of the total money spent for fresh produce purchases. On the other hand, interest is growing for furnishing produce to local produce schools, hospitals and public institutions. The supply chains of locally grown produce are classified into direct marketing distributions (farmers’ markets, CSAs, roadside stands, on-farm stores) and indirect marketing distributions (restaurants, foodservices, supermarkets). Each supply chain is characterized by different factors, including the expectations of customers which, coincidentally, drive logistics and postharvest handling activities. The supply chains and the logistics of locally grown produce are described, with the analysis of potential benefits and barriers to expansion, using the system approach technique.

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