Friday, July 23, 2010

Eating local produce would mean billions for Ga. economy

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 12:52 PM

The potential economic benefits of buying locally grown food has been a popular topic for years, but, until now, it's pretty much all been unquantified speculation.

But new findings have determined the impact these purchases would have on the Georgia economy as a whole. And it's huge.

According to a recent study by the University of Georgia's Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, if the Peach State's approximately 3.7 million households spent just $10 per week on Georgia-grown produce (from any source, not just directly from producers), more than $1.9 billion could be pumped back into the state's economy.

There's more: for every 5 percent increase in local produce purchases, Georgia would see 345 additional jobs, $43.7 million more in sales, and $13.6 million more in farmer income.

To put these numbers in perspective, direct farmer to consumer sales currently contribute 132 jobs, $14.4 million in sales, and $4.5 million in labor income.

Just a small change in our consumer behavior could lead to big economic gains for our state.

Plus, don't those local tomaters taste so much better, anyway?

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