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Challenges to “going local”: Lessons from direct food sourcing initiatives in Cusco, Peru

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Restaurants can improve the quality and reliability of their input supplies and gain favor with consumers through direct sourcing while also contributing to development goals around sustainable production and income generation. However, limited evidence exists on the willingness of restaurants to invest in direct sourcing, the implications of these linkages, and the options to achieve scale. We interviewed 46 restaurants to examine their preferences and experiences in sourcing local foods and analyzed three cases that link local production to the tourist sector in Cusco, Peru. Results suggest that the interventions succeeded in providing a few restaurants with high value food. However, the interventions failed to deliver impact at scale. Bottlenecks included low business capacities in farmer organizations, limited support from NGOs and the government, and weak incentives for restaurants. We conclude with a discussion on the changes needed in the business and policy environment for achieving greater impact at scale.

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    Blare, T.; Donovan J.




    food resources, rural development, sustainable development, food systems, markets, small scale business



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