The Wisconsin local foods study prepared by the Alward Institute estimates the economic contribution of the state's local food markets by simulating how the state's economy could change if there were no local food markets.


Using an empirically-based economic model, the study first establishes a baseline measurement of the size of the state's existing economy.  Local food sales are then removed from the model in order to measure the economic change that could occur if local food markets no longer existed.  The size of Wisconsin's economy is then re-measured and the difference attributed to the existence of the state's local food markets.


Based on this methodology we have found that, without the contribution of the state's local food markets, Wisconsin's economy could be up to $9.9 billion dollars smaller.  In 2012 this would have represented up to 3.6% of gross state product.


This finding is composed of two parts and includes:  (1) the revenue generated directly from the sale of local food products to Wisconsin businesses and households and;  (2) the value of local food products embedded in the supply chain of every other type of product sold to Wisconsin businesses and households.  The first part of this estimate represents the direct value associated with Wisconsin local food markets, while the second part of the estimate represents the indirect value associated with Wisconsin local food markets.  Together, these two components represent an upper-bound estimate for the total value attributable to the state's local food markets.


Coming soon:  “Evaluating the Extent and Economic Contribution of a Local Food System through an Import Substitution Framework” written by Philip Watson, David Kay, Gregory Alward, Stephen Cooke and Alfonso Morales.