New USDA report shows direct-to-consumer food sales way up

A flea on the elephant's back: The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has released a new report on sales from direct-to-consumer food marketing (things like farmers markets and CSAs), using data from the last Census of Agriculture. The good news: sales were up 104.7% from 1997 to 2007, compared with an increase of 47.6% for total agriculture sales. (All six New England states made the top 10 list.) And now the bad news: even when you subtract non-food crops from the total agriculture sales figures, direct-to-consumer food marketing has only an 0.8% share. (USDA AMS report [PDF])

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