This study was conducted to develop a list of the most-pressing issues facing local food systems in the Southern Region. A Delphi study that surveyed key informants across the Southern Region of the U.S. was used to develop the list. In the first round, informants were asked to list the three most-pressing issues. In the second round, they ranked all of the issues, which was used to create the top 10 issues: profitability, support for local food systems, education of the public, farming practices/knowledge, marketing and promotion, accessibility and affordability, lack of farms and farmers, regulations and certifications, infrastructure, and coordination of efforts. In the third round, informants indicated their level of agreement with the inclusion of the issues in the top 10. A key element of this list of issues is their interconnected nature and understanding that addressing one issue will likely affect others, indicating the need for a systems-based approach for addressing local foods. How these issues present will be different by location, so a one-size-fits-all model of local food systems is unlikely to be successful.
Settle, Q., Morrison, C. C., Felter, L., & Taylor, J. (2021). Identifying the 10 Most-Pressing Issues Facing Local Food Systems in the Southern Region. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 9(1), 14. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol9/iss1/14
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