Supercharging Supply Chains: How Local Orbit is Changing the Face of Local Food

Feb 22, 2013 12:00 PM ET
Erika Block on farms

Design for Social Innovation Blog

Do you ever wonder why local food tends to cost more even though the distance it has to travel is so much less than the global industrial system? Erika Block of Local Orbit – a one-stop shop for ecommerce and business management tools designed specifically to serve the needs of local food systems – knows some of the answers. And she's doing what she can to change them.

A few weeks ago, on my way into the DSI studio, I made a quick stop at the Union Square Farmers Market. My intention was just to drop off some fruit and vegetable scraps for composting, but as I passed through, a stand overflowing with apples from a local farm caught my eye. I couldn't resist the sample slices beckoning on the front of the table, so I tried a few and ended up buying four apples. Total Cost: about $5.00.

Six or seven blocks later, nearing the studio, I passed a Trader Joe's and decided to pop in to pick up a few more things, including some almond butter to eat with the apples I'd just gotten. I noticed that the apples at Trader Joe's, were selling for about 79 cents each, so four of them would have cost me a little more than $3.00.

Why is it that the apples at TJ's were about 60% cheaper than the local ones at the farmers market? [...continue reading...]

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