Interest in local food is increasing. But producers lack a distribution system for moving the food and are uncertain about regulations that affect local-food production. A class in Macon, Ga., Nov. 8 will help them figure it out.
“Direct Marketing of Local Food Products” will be held at the Georgia Farm Bureau Building on Bass Road off of I-75. Classes will last from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.
According to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report on local food systems, 1,400 community-supported agriculture organizations were in operation this year. Last year, there were 2,095 farm-to-school programs operating in the country. These programs use local farms as food suppliers for school meal programs. This is 500 percent more than just five years ago.
Topics and panel discussions will include direct marketing of produce and value-added products, including selling directly to retailers, restaurants and school meal programs.
The University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Center of Innovation for Agribusiness and Georgia Farm Bureau are offering the one-day course, which costs $25 and includes lunch. For more information or to register visit www.areg.caes.uga.edu.
(April R. Sorrow is a science writer with the University of Georgia Public Affairs Office.)