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FAQS

FAQS & TIPS SUPPORT LOCAL PRODUCERS

From the fields to your fork and every step along the way, we at Utah's Own assure you that Utah's producers, distributors, and retailers continue to bring safe, fresh, local goods to your table. Explore the FAQ section below and visit our Utah's Own Member Directory to discover local products made right here in Utah.

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Explore the Utah’s Own Producer Directory to discover local producers and find links to their online stores, retail outlets, and more. When shopping, seek out farmers markets, farm stores or farm stands in your neighborhood.

Yes! The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has released a set of COVID-19 guidelines for Farmers Markets. Local authorities will make the final decision if markets in their jurisdiction may open. Additional details and the UDAF COVID-19 Food Establishment Permit Guidelines for Farmers Markets can be found here: UDAF Farmers Market Guidelines.

Look for locally sourced items listed on menus, on restaurants, or ask your chef or server - Let restaurants know you value local ingredients on your table. You can find a number of local restaurants who support local agriculture in our Utah's Own Producer Directory.

Look for “local” signage in the grocery store; when you pick up a product at the grocery store - look for the Utah’s Own brand or a Utah address on the label. Visit your local farmers markets and farm stands. When dining out, ask the staff of your neighborhood restaurants what local products they serve or purveyors they purchase from and why.

Yes - many local businesses have an online farm store or sell through large online farm stores. Try searching for generic terms like “Utah cheese” or “Utah salsa.” Also, browse the Utah’s Own Directory for links to online stores on each producer’s member profile page.

In addition to farmers markets and farm stands, many producers are now offering CSAs, subscription boxes, and online stores. Look up your favorite producers or browse our Utah’s Own Directory to discover local producers and their online stores.

CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a food distribution and sales model that allows consumers to directly purchase from producers. Consumers buy shares of a farm or ranch’s harvest in advance and receive produce or meat throughout the season. Visit the Utah’s Own Directory to find a CSA near you!

Supporting local producers by buying local food and agricultural products helps strengthen our local economy, creates local jobs, increases food security, and helps preserve farms, ranches, small businesses, and farmland ensuring Utah has farms and ranches for generations to come. 

Locally produced food is often higher in quality and freshness. Additionally, reducing the distance food travels reduces associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Local food systems are also linked to reduced food safety risks through production decentralization.

Getting to know your local producers gives you a stronger sense of place, relationships, trust, and pride within your community. With so many incredible producers in Utah, you’re bound to find something new to love each time you choose to support our local food supply. 

( USU - The Local Food Movement )

The food supply is robust and diverse - just like you can buy new shoes or your favorite technology from multiple sources - food is sent to various markets and distribution points - Here are some examples of simplified food distribution:

  • Farmer & Ranchers → Direct to Consumer (Farm Stands and Stores, CSAs, Farmers Markets)
  • Farmer & Ranchers → Food Artisan → Retailer/Consumers
  • Farmer & Ranchers → Restaurant/Food Truck → Consumer 
  • Farmer & Ranchers → Grocery Store → Consumer
  • Farmer & Ranchers → Processor/Manufacturer → Distributor → Retailer/Restaurant → Consumer

Whether the product is sold directly from farmer to consumer or is sent to someone across the world to use, we’re proud that it originates in Utah. All of these channels provide valuable economic resources to our communities.

Just like you can find multiple places to buy a new phone (online, at a store, or find a dealer) food is distributed throughout many different markets. Because of the impact of COVID-19 many of those markets closed suddenly, not allowing the supply chain to adjust quickly. 

Without cruises, hotels, schools, businesses, and many other entities open, the demand for food has decreased drastically within certain supply channels, as well as the limit of a lot of global markets; while at the same time grocery stores demand has increased substantially. Because it was SO quick - distribution channels had a hard time adjusting, all the while supply chains were still producing:

Milk and Eggs are provided by animals daily - they don’t have an “off” button to stop supplying from one day to the next. Meat is grown within a specified amount of time and then sent to processing based on consumer demand.Many programs within Utah have successfully shifted supply channels to make use of the products that cannot be sold on through traditional channels, for example Dairy West creating a Curds + Kindness program to distribute surplus dairy to families in need, or the Utah Farm Bureau Federation launching Farmers Feeding Utah to connect farmers and ranchers with hungry Utahns.

Similar to any other industry, agriculture relies on supply and demand to determine distribution. The grocery stores were empty, not because of a lack of a food supply; rather the distribution channels were so overwhelmed with the shift in market demand that it took some time to readjust. Today, you’ll notice most grocery stores shelves are full again.

This scenario also opens up an opportunity for us to consider our distribution channels from a market perspective. You may want to do some research on food seasonality, talk to  a local rancher about getting some locally raised meat, or talk to your grocer about where they source their produce and why.

Amidst Utah’s history is a strong line of sustainability and self-reliance. We’re lucky enough to produce products like hay, milk, beef and fruit in abundance. As such, we have the ability to share our bounty with other states and nations, while providing a strong economic benefit for our state.

Are you curious what Utah’s top agricultural products are? Click here to view our 2019 NASDA Utah Agricultural Statistics and Annual Summary Report.

Did you know that the United States, and in turn, Utah, has one of the safest food supplies in the world? While such regulations could appear tough to the emerging entrepreneur, these regulations ensure that the consumer can avoid any food-borne illness risks when possible. The Utah Department of Agriculture inspects food warehouses, grocery stores, manufacturers as well as commercial and home kitchens of food artisans to ensure safe and proper practices are followed. In addition, the Utah Department of Health ensures that restaurants and food trucks are following proper food handling procedures.

If you want to know if your food is safe to eat: ask. 

Ask the farmer, grower, food artisan or chef about the food safety measures they’re implementing on their operations. We’re confident that you’ll love their answers.

YES! The majority of restaurants and food trucks were already providing safe and amazing food dishes, using proper food handling techniques. Currently, there are no known cases of transmission of COVID-19 from food.  Did you know, prior to COVID-19, that restaurateurs and employees were already instructed to stay home if they felt sick?

If you would like to learn more about food safety and handling - check out your county's health department website.

Regulations provide proper guidelines and procedures to ensure that food being sold or served is safe for consumption. The mission of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food not only includes growing Utah’s food supply, but also protecting it. The division of regulatory services helps to first educate and then enforce proper food safety standards.