Wednesday, May 30, 2007

On the difficulty of being small

"Some consumers are demanding locally grown food in a bid to help support family farmers, conserve energy and buy what they see as fresher, more nutritious products. The number of farmers' markets increased by 18 percent to 4,385 markets between 2004 and 2006, U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show. Restaurants are increasingly serving up heirloom tomatoes and herbs procured from local growers.

But farmers, chocolate makers and other producers must overcome a lot of hurdles before they can win shelf space. Problems include how to crack into elaborate distribution systems used by most big supermarket chains, expensive insurance requirements and competition from lower-priced, large-scale producers."

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