Exploring the market potential of 'local' in food systems
Pearson, D. and Bailey, A. (2012) Exploring the market potential of 'local' in food systems. Locale: the Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies, 2. pp. 82-103. ISSN 2200-5005
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Local food initiatives create a niche market in many developed countries where consumer choice is being met with an expanding offering in both conventional as well as complementary retail outlets. Supermarkets in conjunction with the food service sector currently dominate food sales and consumption, and are likely to do so for the foreseeable future. However, the local food sector offers an opportunity for implementing niche marketing strategies for many businesses. Local food activities tend to be relatively independent activities and a clearer definition for “local” food would assist in consolidating this important component of the food system. Related to this, consumers would benefit from the establishment of some form of assurance system for the ‘localness’ of food. In the UK, with its well established local food market, farmers’ markets, farm shops and box schemes are currently having the largest impact in terms of total sales. Hence further research is required to confirm that support for similar business ventures in Australia would be a viable strategy for strengthening its local food systems.