Michigan Integrated Food and Farming System

Michigan Food & Farming Industry Research Priorities

Submitted by:
Michigan Food and Farming Systems
Elaine Brown
416 Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-432-0712
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  1. Evaluation of the market demand in Michigan for locally grown fruits and vegetables. We have broad national data that indicates a growing trend and demand for locally grown food but no data specific enough to enable farmers to analyze the risks and benefits of beginning or increasing production of fruits and vegetables for local markets. This is a short term industry priority that has not been funded previously.
  2. Comparative analysis of the standards required and cost of implementing various Good Agriculture Practices/Good Handling Practices for food safety certification programs that are being required of fresh produce growers. Retail and wholesale buyers are requiring Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) based food safety standards programs such as the American Institute of Baking, Food Trust Certification,and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The certification requirement will impact the cost of production and marketing for all produce growers and affordability is especially important to small and medium size farms. This is an immediate industry priority that has not been funded previously.
  3. Assessment of urban/suburban areas readiness for urban agriculture program initiation and growth with regard to community capacity and assets as well as policy and land use requirements that impact urban agriculture as part of the local food system. This is a short to medium term industry priority that has not been funded previously.
  4. Analysis of the economic impact of Michigan farmers markets and the indirect impact on the communities served by farmers markets. Little data exists on the impact of Michigan farmers markets yet the demand for markets has grown tremendously over the past six years. Understanding the economic impacts of farmers markets on the local agriculture and local economy will also enable more farmers and communities to assess their opportunities to grow the local economy through farmers markets. This is a short to medium term industry priority that has not been funded previously.

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