Commercial Bakers' View on the Meaning of "Local" Wheat and Flour in Western Washington State

  • Karen M. Hills Washington State University
  • Jessica R. Goldberger Washington State University
  • Stephen S. Jones Washington State University
Keywords: Commercial Bakers, Local Food, Relocalization, Short Supply Chains, Washington State, Wheat

Abstract

Most existing efforts toward revitalizing local food production have focused on fresh produce and animal products, largely neglecting staple crops such as grains. Nevertheless, there has been increasing interest in many parts of the United States in relocalizing grain production. Wheat is the most commonly consumed grain in the United States. Commercial bakers could be important supply-chain intermediaries for locally grown wheat, but little is known about their attitudes toward local wheat and how they define local. We surveyed commercial bakers in western Washington State and interviewed experts involved with local wheat movements in other regions. Thirty-four percent of survey respondents defined local as within the state of Washington, 25 percent provided a multistate definition, and 14 percent provided a flexible (or reflexive) definition that referred to two or more geographic regions. Perceived barriers to purchasing local wheat included supply-chain, price, quality, and scale factors. We conclude with discussion of the opportunities and challenges for the relocalization of wheat flour supply chains.

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Author Biographies

Karen M. Hills, Washington State University
Graduate Research Assistant, Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center; Mount Vernon, Washington 98273 USA.
Jessica R. Goldberger, Washington State University
Associate Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University; Pullman, Washington 99164 USA; +1-509-335-8540.
Stephen S. Jones, Washington State University
Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University; Pullman, Washington 99164 USA; +1-509-335-8540.
Published
2013-09-17
How to Cite
Hills, K. M., Goldberger, J. R., & Jones, S. S. (2013). Commercial Bakers’ View on the Meaning of "Local" Wheat and Flour in Western Washington State. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 3(4), 13–32. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2013.033.022