The benefits of local markets

Building local markets for locally produced food should be part of efforts to revitalize local economies, reduce social exclusion, conserve biodiversity, combat climate change and sustain rural livelihoods as they:

  1. PROMOTE ENTERPRISE. Local markets promote business-oriented initiatives among current and potential food producers at the community, county or regional level by encouraging farmers to take advantage of new regulatory opportunities offered by Agricultural Retail Trade (RHD) or Local, Marginal Production (MLO) to process an sell directly to consumers;
  2. GENERATE LOCAL EMPLOYMENT. Local markets generate local jobs and the potential for new employment opportunities associated with new IT, sharing economy and decentralized technology solutions. New jobs can be created related to internet-based services for sales & marketing, logistics, facility-sharing, agro-advisory, accounting & finance and legal advice, as well as new employment opportunities related to small-scale food processing, packaging, storage and distribution.
  3. CREATE NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES. Mobilises professionally local residents, encouraging them to undertake innovative economic and social initiatives locally in the field of production, processing and distribution of locally produced food. Local government can reduce the risks and costs of setting up new businesses and strengthening or re-orienting existing business, as these are spread across the local market as it is being created (e.g. trademarks and branding of a Buyers’ club), but generating individual benefits (sales). By creating new business opportunities, local markets generate also a market for new knowledge, skills and competencies.
  4. MAKE THE REGION MORE ATTRACTIVE TO VISITORS & INVESTORS. Local markets promote the identity of a locality or region by building a sense of belonging for residents and integrating local initiatives into a single whole, while building attractiveness of the region for tourists, investors and others in the country and abroad.
  5. PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT. Local markets support traditional, environmentally-friendly and landscape-friendly farming methods that conserve biodiversity. Energy saving is achieved as unnecessary transport is limited and harmful emissions and climate impacts are reduced as a result.
  6. PROMOTE HEALTHIER EATING. Food from small farms using non-industrial methods provide a source of healthy, tasty, fresh food. Increasing supply and availability enables and promotes healthier eating and lifestyle.
  7. CONTRIBUTE TO FOOD SECURITY. Retaining and sustaining food production capabilities and resources locally is critical to assuring food security.
  8. COMBAT THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC EXCLUSION. Local markets enable small farmers and their families to increase their income by enabling them to sell their produce more effectively, thereby reducing their dependence on social transfers and subsidies.

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