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Localizing agricultural distribution networks in San Diego County

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Uploaded on Mar 8, 2011

Contemporary farming techniques come with considerable external social costs to the environment, food security, healthcare, and other public entities. Sustainable agricultural practices (SAP) offer solutions to many of these problems, however many aspects of SAP are hard to apply in a fashion which is environmentally and economically beneficial. Agricultural distribution localization shares many of the benefits of other SAP and is easier to put into practice because it can be implemented independently of other changes and can potentially lead directly to immediate cost savings. This study examines ways in which the distribution network can be utilized and enhanced to advance localization within San Diego County. Research is centered on the farms to school (FTS) program in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and conducted through interviews, tours, and primary documents. This project identifies the major obstacle to the adoption of localized distribution networks as a lack of appropriate local crop supply and analyzes ways to overcome these impediments by examining the successes of the FTS program at the SDUSD. It is concluded that not all products can be locally distributed; however localization in San Diego is becoming increasingly viable and entities such as the FTS program at SDUSD are acting as agents of change to promote the localization effort.

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