Connecting Farmers with Stores
I agree with Lee - find out which stores have an open procurement policy. It is common for many chains to buy local produce. A challenge is that the farms have to produce sufficient quantity to satisfy procurement. Ugly vegetables and fruit is almost a separate issue. Usually procurement standards for local produce are less demanding than those for non-local suppliers. But to Lee's point - this is a chain by chain decision process, not a whole system decision process. Many grocery chains in the northeast and west coast already have local procurement policies.
I agree with both Lee and Andrew - connecting local farmers with local grocery chains is a procurement question. Regarding the ugly fruit and veg - There was an article in June of this year that highlighted that there are store chains with small pilots to sell ugly produce in some of their stores. One thing that really helps is having education programs in the grocerry store to assure consumers that the produce is safe - sometimes when folks see a 2 pronged carrot - the first thought is that something negative happened to the carrot versus the fact that two seeds can grow relatively close together and form a co-joined carrot (I know this one from trying to grow carrots last year in home garden!). Of course, rewarding those who buy ugly produce with lower prices will definitely get things moving.