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Small Scale Supply Chains and Local Food Infrastructure

The disappearance of small-scale, independent livestock auctions, grain mills, slaughterhouses and food processing plants means that small farmers have gone out of business because they can't sell their products.

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I found this idea in a newsletter today -- referring to the latest "Farm Bill" ... and how big agribusiness is impacting small farm enterprises.

"The disappearance of small-scale, independent livestock auctions, grain mills, slaughterhouses and food processing plants means that small farmers have gone out of business because they can't sell their products. This has left a handful of big corporations in control of our food supply and only the illusion of choice at the supermarket."

It reminded me of all the hours I spent in small farm marketing as a child, tagging along with my mother to sell her organic eggs to a whole foods retailer, my father to sell his organic table grapes at a truck market, and a neighbor and his daughter to the local livestock auction. Wow... what memories.

But more importantly, those markets are ... well, gone. Only the local farmers markets exist in most communities. I've asked merchants at our local farmers markets in West LA where their farms are... and they can be 100 miles away. That's not local. It might be small farming, but it's not local.

Supply Chain Infrastructure

Grocery stores, restaurants, pet stores, landscape nurseries -- all these retail outlets need ready access to an infrastructure that supports local raw materials from farmers, harvesters, and cottage industry.

If it takes a federal law to protect small scale production from megabusiness... so be it. Then we need to contact our federal (as well as state and local) politicians and regulators to make sure they understand that WE understand that infrastructure matters.

Job creation is about more than an electric grid. We need a small business grid that accommodates local natural resources, local entrepreneurs, and local supply chains.

And if you want your voice heard in the next US Farm Bill... here's a resource for you:

Make a call now to show some love for your family and farmers: ACTION.FOODANDWATERWATCH.ORG The Food and Water Watch organization helps connect the health of our natural resources to local agricultural and urban use of those resources.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
| food production | food | farming | organic farming | organic food | supply chain | sustainable communities |

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