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The economic impact of farmers’ markets and a state level locally grown campaign

Hughes, David W., Isengildina-Massa, Olga
Food policy 2015 v.54 pp. 78-84
economic impact, farmers, farmers' markets, foods, issues and policy, models, opportunity costs, value added, South Carolina
This study evaluates the direct and indirect economic impact of farmers market and the Certified South Carolina Grown Campaign as transmitted through farmers markets on the South Carolina Economy. We developed an IMPLAN-based SAM model of the South Carolina economy that takes into account the opportunity cost of money spent at farmers’ markets to estimate the net as opposed to gross impact of the campaign on the state economy. Our results indicate that the Certified South Carolina Grown Campaign (an example of a widely used “buy local foods” policies) does not make a major contribution to the state economy. Our findings suggest that policy makers need to augment buy local campaigns with other efforts, such as a value-added processing of regionally produced foods, if such policies are to serve as a means of generating economic growth.