Statistics for the Central Coast

County agriculture statistics (Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito combined): Direct Marketing Trends:
  • The 1997 USDA Agricultural Census included direct marketing for the second time. Direct marketing in this case is defined as "Agricultural products sold directly to individuals for human consumption." (USDA -1997)
  • From 1992 to 1997, the value of direct marketing products in California increased by 103.5%. (An average increase of 80.3% per farm)
  • In 1997, 13% of organic farmers marketed directly to consumers and 7% marketed directly to retail (compared to 80% that marketed wholesale) (According to www.OFRF.org organic farming survey of farmers throughout the US).
  • California has the greatest number of farms participating in direct marketing with 5,901, and the greatest value of direct market sales at $73,179,000
  • Produce arriving by truck traveled an average distance of 1,518 miles to reach Chicago in 1998, a 22 percent increase over the 1,245 miles traveled in 1981.
Selling Direct
  • In a survey of organic farmers throughout the US, 25% of farmers surveyed said they had difficulty entering the Direct-to-retail markets, such as selling directly to supermarkets.
  • 77% farmers wanted to increase their sales on a local level.
  • 74% farmers plan to increase their direct to consumer marketing.
Buying Direct
  • Researchers surveyed both a working-class and a more affluent community, and found that 44 percent of residents in both communities expressed moderate to strong support for buying local products. (Several studies by Oregon State University provide information about consumers' values and purchasing behavior regarding buying local.)
  • In Santa Cruz County, two-thirds say it is important to them that food comes from farms and ranches in their area.
  • Latinos place nearly as much importance on buying local as white consumers (68 percent important for whites and 60 percent for Latinos.
  • The vast majority of people surveyed say they do buy locally produced and grown food (88 percent).