Buying Locally Could Pump $1.9 Billion Into Georgia's Economy,

If each of the approximately 3.7 million households in the state devoted $10 per week to buying produce grown in Georgia, more than $1.9 billion would be pumped back into the state's economy, according to a new study, "The Local Food Impact: What if Georgians Ate Georgia Produce."

And for every 5 percent increase in local produce purchasing, the state would see 345 additional jobs, $43.7 million more in sales, and $13.6 million more in farmer income.

The research - conducted by the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development was funded and funded by Georgia Organics, the Center of Innovation for Agribusiness, and other partners - demonstrates what a small change in consumer behavior could mean for farmers, and for the entire state.

In addition, study authors analyzed the potential of individual crops by comparing the amount that average Georgians eat, and the amount that Georgia farmers grow.

They found, for example, the average Georgian eats about 30 pounds of fresh lettuce per year, or about 285 million pounds state-wide. Yet the state produces less than 245,000 pounds per year, which is less than one-tenth of one percent of the amount of lettuce that Georgians consume. Closing that gap would generate an additional $83.6 million in lettuce sales.

Similarly, there are major gaps for other produce, including a $228 million gap for apples, a $62 million gap for bell peppers, a $46 million gap for a broccoli, a $12.8 million gap for carrots, a $124 million gap for pecans,

Dr. Teri Hamlin
North Region Agriculture Education
Georgia Department of Education
204C Four Towers University of Georgia
Athens, Ga 30602
706-552-4461 / 706-540-0032
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