Knowing where and how your goods are grown, raised, or made, empowers you to choose safe and healthy products from producers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or GMO’s. Studies have shown that produce loses nutritional value as more time passes from when it was harvested. Crops from distant states or countries are picked before they are ripe because it can take 2 weeks or more for them to make it your table. Locally grown crops are harvested at peak ripeness when taste and nutrition are prime.
Buying directly from local producers supports small family farms and preserves Southwest Virginia’s rich agricultural heritage. Almost 90% of Virginia farms are owned and operated by individuals and families. On average, Virginia farmers receive less than 16¢ of every consumer dollar that is spent buying their products. It is no wonder Virginia lost 1,200 farms from 2014 to 2015. Farmers deserve to be paid fair prices. Virginia Field Goods is a year-round direct market where producers earn 70¢ for every consumer dollar spent. Virginia Field Goods uses the remaining 30¢ for hub operations and to further promote local products.
Buying local food can be less expensive than buying food that has to travel from distant states or countries, especially if you buy produce in season. A 2011 study on the Southeast and Appalachia showed that farmer's market prices were the same or less expensive than supermarkets 74% of the time, by an average of 12% lower cost. Additionally, if every household in Southwest Virginia spent $10 a week on local products we could add $211.7 million to our regional economy. Buying local keeps our dollars circulating in the community and enhances life in our region.
Most fresh fruits and vegetables are transported 1,500 miles before reaching your plate. Our producers live right here in our Blue Ridge Mountain region. Virginia Field Goods values respectful stewardship of our land and encourages all producers and members to embrace sustainable and responsible practices.