|Photo by talkingbiznews.com|
Although many of the retailers interviewed expressed concern with the complexity of dealing with multiple local farms as opposed to established large vendors, they are also increasingly embracing the trend of preserving the identities of local farms offering products in their stores as a selling point. Additionally, "while food safety is a concern for all retailers, the larger retailers seek formalized certifications, especially those purchasing from large-scale farmers or companies not in close proximity. The greater physical and social distance from the actual producers creates the need for extra security, often achieved via third-party certification." Thus, local suppliers decrease the need for retailers to procure added security. Distributors also report that their transportation costs are significantly decreased by dealing locally. Overall, the findings suggest that, while building an efficient network between local growers and retails may be problematic to start, this alternative method is ultimately a viable and beneficial option.