The main disadvantages of buying locally include access to a limited variety of products, higher prices and shopping at multiple locations. Another disadvantage is the lack of regulation applied to small and local farmers.
Although buying local at a farmer's market has advantages, one main disadvantage is the lack of variety. A small farmer only grows so many types of fruits and vegetables, so it is necessary to travel to other locations for various products.
Small, local farmers do not have access to resources that larger farms use to be more efficient and environmentally friendly. Small farmers often cannot afford to invest in alternative energy sources such as wind or solar power. Typically located in isolated, rural communities, small farmers must bring equipment and supplies by truck or rail. The shipping negates any positive impact local growers otherwise have on the environment. Shipping costs also require small farmers to charge more for their products.
Government agencies do not regulate or inspect small farms. This means it is difficult to know how a farm is run and whether or not items labeled as organic qualify for that distinction..
Buying locally can have a positive influence on the local economy, but many types of produce are grown in poor countries. These countries often rely on exported goods for their financial well-being. Failing to buy imported goods has a negative impact on the global economy.