Value Chains Organizations and Publications

Value chains are regional and national food production and supply networks that require the trust and close collaboration farmers, processors, distributors, and retailers.

Organizations and Programs

Agriculture of the Middle

This national initiative seeks to renew what is being called the “agriculture-of-the-middle.” This term refers to a disappearing sector of mid-scale farms/ranches and related agrifood enterprises that are unable to successfully market bulk commodities or sell food directly to consumers.

National Good Food Network

The National Good Food Network is bringing together people from all parts of the rapidly emerging good food system – producers, buyers, distributors, advocates, investors and funders – to create a community dedicated to scaling up good food sourcing and access.


Case Studies on Local Food Supply Chains

The objective of this study was to improve understanding of the way in which local food products are being introduced or reintroduced into the broader food system and potential barriers to expansion of markets for local foods.

Apples in Syracuse, NY

Blueberries in Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA

Spring mix in Sacaramento, CA

Beef in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Fluid milk in Washington, DC

Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains 

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-99) 81 pp, June 2010

Series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains. Interviews and site visits with farms and businesses, supplemented with secondary data, describe how food moves from farms to consumers in 15 food supply chains. Key comparisons between supply chains include the degree of product differentiation, diversification of marketing outlets, and information conveyed to consumers about product origin. The cases highlight differences in prices and the distribution of revenues among supply chain participants, local retention of wages and proprietor income, transportation fuel use, and social capital creation.