Growing Relationships: Social Ties in Eugene, Oregon Local Food Distribution
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This study delves into the local food system of Eugene, Oregon to focus on this community’s small-scale growers and their distribution strategies. The various distribution strategies open to small-scale local growers each require their own kind of work. In determining how to allocate their time and energy, growers consider these activities alongside the benefits that each distribution strategy offers. Certain distribution arrangements with smaller bulk buyers like restaurants and community grocery stores, which I term “direct wholesale” arrangements, offer the benefit of providing long-term, close relationships. These arrangements provide value that more than compensates for the work of establishing and maintaining these arrangements in the first place. In this context, these close-ties developed through “direct wholesale” provide the best platform for the viability of a small-scale, local farm in Eugene, Oregon.