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Sustainable Agriculture

Local Foods/Marketing

Picture of a table at a farmer's market with various types of vegetables for saleThe demand for local foods has increased rapidly in Georgia and across the nation. One of the strongest indications of this trend has been an increase in the number of farmer’s markets. Over the last five years the state of Georgia has seen its farmers markets increase by nearly 600% from 9 markets in 2003 to 62 markets in 2008. A listing of the state’s farmers market nearest to you can be found using the Georgia Market Maker.

Farm subscriptions, commonly called CSAs for Community Supported Agriculture, are another form of local food sales that is on the rise. CSAs are a way for individuals and families to support a local farm by purchasing an entire growing season worth of produce in advance, then receiving a box of mixed produce each week throughout the season. In the last three years Georgia has seen its CSA subscriptions increase by 600%, from 405 consumers in 2005 to 2,849 consumers in 2008; with the number of CSA farms growing from eight to thirty-six (More info).

Many restaurant, specialty grocery store chains, and new institutional buying programs also have a strong interest in local foods. Several specialty and regular grocery chains have been developing programs to promote local and organic foods.

Where and How to Sell Local Foods
Local Markets Research
Tools for Locating Local Foods and Farms

Cottage Foods Program - Program through Georgia Department of Agriculture that allows consumers to sell certain products that are produced in residential homes directly to consumers. For a quick guide on the program, click here.