A body of literature and case studies has developed as part of the reporting, outreach and evaluation of the local and regional food system projects supported by grants and other funders. Yet, there is concern that food value chains are promoted without adequately evaluating the viability of these businesses, or how these markets affect the performance and welfare of key stakeholders: farm vendors and local communities/economies.
This paper reviews and summarizes a comprehensive set of U.S.-based case studies focused on food value chains. We conduct a meta-analysis to systematically capture what available case study evidence tells us about: 1) trends in the viability of food value chain businesses; 2) the impact of these businesses on participating farm vendors; and, 3) the associated community economic development outcomes (framed in terms of ‘wealth creation’).
In addition to sharing findings from the meta-analysis, we demonstrate how the lack of standardized protocols for case study development is a barrier to learning about metric comparisons, best practices, and what impacts these food value chain businesses may have. We conclude with some recommendations of how the field can move forward to evaluate and share lessons learned using more uniform, project-driven case study development.
This is the first study to conduct a systematic meta-analysis of U.S. food value chain businesses.
Angelo, B., Jablonski, B. and Thilmany, D. (2016), "Meta-analysis of U.S. intermediated food markets: Measuring what matters", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-10-2015-0403Download as .RIS
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