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Defining Local Food: An Analysis of State Approaches and Challenges

"Defining Local Food: An Analysis of State Approaches and Challenges" is a report put together by the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) to analyze the term "local" from a legal perspective.  

The term "local" has many meanings.  Despite the fact that it carries so many different connotations, it is used frequently in the law and in the marketplace.  If the term is to have meaning that carries legal weight, it must have a clear definition that reflects the priorities of the entity defining it.  While overall "local" remains largly undefined, creating potential challenges for meeting the goals and evaluating the impacts of local food legislation, there are some states that are moving toward more clearly defined uses of the term. 

"Defining Local Food: An Analysis of State Approaches and Challenges", describes the various definitions for "local" or other analogous terms used in State laws meant to incentivize or otherwise promote the purchase of agricultural products that meet those definitions. The first section describes different ways governments, consumers, and other stakeholders use and define the word "local". It also describes some of the attributes commonly ascribed to local foods. The report includes a scan of laws from US states and the District of Columbia and provides examples of the terminology each state uses and defines.