2016 Conference Sessions
Speakers: Mike Curtin, Dennis Derryck, Anthony Flaccavento, Scott Marlow, Bu Nygrens, and Malini Ram Moraghan
Speakers: Cornelius Blanding, James Faison, Haile Johnson, Tamara Jones, Shirley Sherrod, Kolu Zigbi
Speakers: Garret Ballard-Rosa, Allison Duncan, Justin Hembre, Bob Heuer, Mark Winnie
Speakers: James Barham, Ann Karlen, Susan Pavlin, Lilian Salerno, Steve Warshner
In a notable level of private-public partnership, USDA and 15 philanthropic organizations are collaborating to support value chain coordinators across the country. As the glue of a resilient and equitable food system, value chain coordinators make it possible to connect supply to demand to yield both business successes and social benefits. In this plenary session, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the Food LINC initiative being spearheaded by USDA and hear from three value chain coordination organizations about their boots-on-the-ground perspectives.
Tuesday, March 29
Presenters: Anthony Flaccavento, Haile Johnston, Dave Rand
Daylong in-depth start-up and capacity-building course to support the development of food hubs and the decisions needed to create them. This training is targeted to beginning and emerging food hubs. Read more about this workshop.
Presenters: Sean Monahan, Beth Oleson
Presenter: Darrow Isaacman-VanWertz
As Food Hubs mature and attract the attention of new kinds of investors, it is important for food hubs and other food enterprises to become comfortable speaking about their company in the language of investment. This training will provide an in-depth look at how a potential investor may assess a food enterprise before committing to a financial partnership. By including relevant case studies throughout the training, the participant will leave with increased knowledge about capital stacking and how to identify non-traditional resource partners. This training will be mostly relevant to the food hubs trying to secure new avenues of investment but it will also be relevant to investors new to food enterprise work and CBOs working between the two worlds.
Presenters: Phil Britton, Audrey Draper, Lindsay Gilmour, Steve Warshawer
Are you serious about pursuing GroupGAP certification for your growers? This session is NOT an introductory course on GroupGAP - this is a WORK session where you will be able to get the nation's experts to advise you on your QMS, grower and staff trainings, scheduling and other operational details as you ramp up to getting your Group certified. Please bring relevant draft materials. If you are a beginner to GroupGAP, we strongly encourage you to attend the 90 minute session on GroupGAP during the main conference instead.
This tour presents Global Growers and the West Georgia Farmer’s Cooperative, two distinct producer groups representing small family farmers of color in Georgia and the local foods distributor, Common Market Georgia, a new regional hub of the Common Market Philadelphia, an established food hub that has traditionally linked small farmers and institutional customers in the mid-Atlantic region. Global Growers is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities in sustainable agriculture, primarily serving farmers who have come to Atlanta as legal refugees. The West Georgia Farmer’s Cooperative is a traditional growers cooperative established almost 50 years ago by farmers of color. Attendees will learn how these 2 producer models continue to increase their wholesale capacity in order to become key suppliers for the Common Market Georgia. The tour includes a stop at Global Growers incubator farm followed by a tour of the Common Market distribution facility to illustrate how all 3 organizations are sharing resources and infrastructure to grow together build a stronger and more just regional food system.
The Braselton Distribution Center is the Whole Foods Market South Regions’ main perishable supplier distributing to 35 stores in 6 states; Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee. Attendees will get an inside look into operations of one of the Southeast’s largest perishable foods distribution centers including purchasing, receiving, product inspection and shipping. The tour will also detail how Whole Foods is investing in a strong local supply chain by accommodating growers of all sizes and providing micro-credit loans to local producers through the Local Producer Loan Program.
This tour provides current examples of diverse food bank operations and innovations as well as how food banks are contributing to building strong, local food systems. The trip will begin with a guided tour of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. It will provide visitors with an inside look at operations and how they have adapted their infrastructure to accommodate high quality, fresh produce, and some of the unconventional resources they’ve tapped into to achieve their mission of distributing nutritious food. Attendees will also learn about the numerous ways in which the ACFB is working with their partners to develop innovative and affordable ways to improve fresh and healthy food access in under-served communities-including a site-visit to a partner organization. This tour will also include a panel discussion featuring the Food Bank of Northern Alabama and the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia to share their experiences in innovative ways they act as a supportive link between the local food movement and communities in which they serve. Participants will experience first-hand how food bank partnerships increase access to fresh and healthy food. All 3 featured food banks are included in the 200-member Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.
This tour will visit local food hub the Turnip Truck, a substantial Atlanta-based food hub, and Georgia Organics, a member-supported non-profit organization connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. Attendees will tour the Turnip Truck’s operations and learn about their recent entry into light-processing operation. The visit will also showcase how both entities are working to ensure an adequate supply of organic food for a local supply chain; the Turnip Truck through sharing purchase commitments and distribution, Georgia Organics through their multiple approaches to helping farmers grow into environmentally and financially sustainable food producers. The tour will also highlight partnerships based on sharing space and resources between the Turnip Truck and other neighboring food-related enterprises.
Attendees will spend the morning visiting Kennesaw State University to see first-hand how the award-winning Culinary and Hospitality Services department is connecting student dining options and the culinary arts program with fresh produce, mushrooms, eggs, and honey sourced directly from over 40 acres of university farm land. Participants will tour the farm, visit the producer-only weekly farmers market on campus, and receive and in-depth look at how the food and dining service operations are pulling it all together. Tour also features Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s executive chef, Thomas McKeown, to expand the conversation about how local and sustainable sourcing fits into high-volume, high-quality purchasing.
Presenters: David Huges, Dave Lamie, Ken Meter, Jeffrey O'Hara, Dan Thilmany
This Deep Dive session will engage planners in learning to engage community partners in a comprehensive approach to food system assessment, including framing the scope of a local food assessment study, collecting both primary and secondary data, analyzing findings, performing input/output analysis, and customizing commonly used input/output software such as IMPLAN.
Presenters: James Bright, Lauren Handel, Denetra McPherson, Gideon Burdick
Pieces of government legislation that are starting to effect hubs, particularly larger hubs, learn how they will affect your hub and what you need to be aware of.
Presenters: James Matson, Margaret Bau
Structure is one of the most critical and often daunting aspect in creating a new food hub. B corp, Cooperative, LLC, or multistakeholder, what are the processes of thinking through your organizational decisions? Topics covered in this workshop include food hub tax designations, legal structures, and operational models. Case studies of specific operational hubs from across the nation will be provided and discussed.
Presenters: Kate Barker, Erika Block, Conor Butkus
As a food hub operator, your customers include producers, purchasers, supply chain partners and your internal team members/stakeholders. As a funder or service provider, understanding your customers’ and stakeholders experience is critical to maintaining effective programs and services. Customer Journey Mapping offers a design-thinking approach to analyzing customer experience and improving processes for sales, marketing, service design, product development, training and impact.
Presenters: Laura Edwards-orr, Sona Desai, Maria Mastanduno, Katherine Sims
The ability to attract, maintain and service a growing sales base is a fundamental feature of any successful business. Sales efforts that yield adequate revenue, margins and profits are necessary to reach business viability. In this training you will gain an understanding of basic sales tools and challenges and their impact on your food hub. We will discuss sales budgeting and forecasting.
Presenter: Peggy daSilva
This workshop will build the capacity of managers in food businesses to develop effective staff training systems. Competent and engaged staff are key to any successful operation, but too often their training is unplanned, incomplete or unclear. The results can be disastrous. This training will cover the five essential components of an effective staff training system. Each participant will work on his/her own most needed operational function (eg. Sales, inventory control, warehouse, etc.) learning key components and applying them to her/his own situation. At the end of the training, each participant will have a framework on which to build “back home.”
Presenter: Tera Johnson
A half day session which digs in deep on the critical financial hurdles that must be obtained in hubs, the unique financial challenges (especially cash flow, break-evens, meeting lender requirements, and scale factors) that hubs face in order to become financially stable, successful and independent of grant support. Primarily targeted to principals managing and operating hubs, the session will also benefit funders, lenders, non profits, and foundations--in seeing the critical needed for hubs to be financially stable. Using the real financial hurdles and conditions of the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative, we will offer unique insights into the financial hurdles and the range of management options to overcome them in a variety of food hub business models.
- Session 1: Wednesday @ 3:30 pm
- Session 2: Thursday @ 10:30 am
- Session 3: Thursday @ 1:30 pm
- Session 4: Thursday @ 3:15 pm
- Session 5: Friday @ 10:30 am
Presenters: Karen Haliford, Sara Hovertor, Sapna Thottathil
Presenters: Jim Hyland, Chelsea Katz, Brandon Seng, TJ Smith
Why Food Hubs Fail
Presenters: James Barham, Margaret Bau, Sasha Feldstein, Caesar Layton, James Matson
Production Planning for Aggregators
Presenters: Amy McCann, Dave Prather, Lisa Reeder, Stefan Schwartz
Cutting Edge Hub Models
Supporting a Diverse Group of Farmers through a Food Hub Cooperative
Presenters: Mariela Centeno, Tara Roberts-turner, Yimmauj Yang
Cooperative sourcing and distributing food has a long history. This session will share successful co-op models, including multi-stakeholder cooperatives, a new innovation in food hub development. Rather than one class of members such as farmer-producers coming together to cooperatively aggregate, market and distribute product, a group of stakeholders form an organization to reflect the interdependence of interests of the multiple partners. The model can be particularly useful in developing sustainable food systems.
A Survey of Some Emerging and Cutting Edge Food Hub Models
Presenters: Halie Johnston, Tom McDougall, Warren King, Dan Hobbs, Dave Rand
Over the past several years the Food Hub sector has experienced tremendous growth. Across the country these good food enterprises are stimulating rural economies, incentivising sustainable production, supporting small farmers, and ensuring that healthy affordable produce is available to their respective communities. There still remains work to do however, particularly around integrating small and sustainable farmers into the value chain, incubating good food businesses, strengthening food hub collaboration, and ensuring consumers have access to local and regional products. Join as we discuss several emerging food hub models from across the country that seek to address these challenges and continue moving the dial forward.
Building Success of Food Hubs Through the Cooperative Experience
Presenters: Roberta Severson, Jonah Fertig, Peggy Fogarty
Food hubs, regardless of business structure face challenges in aggregation, processing, marketing and distribution of products already experienced by farmer marketing cooperatives that have historically engaged in similar activities. Geared towards food hub managers and staff and producers, the marketing cooperative experiences in sourcing and distributing member product will be shared. Technical advisors will learn why business structure matters through a comparative review of various legal business structures for food hub development along with the various types of cooperatives such as producer, worker owner, purchasing/shared services, and consumer cooperatives. Multi-stakeholder cooperatives are a new innovation in food hub development. Rather than one class of members such as farmer-producers coming together to cooperatively aggregate, market and distribute product, a group of stakeholders form an organization to reflect the interdependence of interests of the multiple partners. The model can be particularly useful in developing sustainable food systems.
More Profit, Less Stuff
Presenters: Angel Mendez, Amelia O'Rourke-owens, Leslie Schaller, Sarah Tyree
One major challenge for many food hubs is financing and maintaining the infrastructure needed for a "traditional" food hub. Several innovative hubs have found ways to reduce the amount of infrastructure they own or lease, lowering overhead significantly. Perhaps as you grow your hub you will find that you can leverage resources and services like these hubs have, to their great success.
Supply and Demand: Exploring the Relationship Among Incubator Farms and Food Hubs
Presenters: Brianna Bowman, Robin Chanin, Susan Pavlin
Learn how incubator farms, cooperative farms, and food hubs can partner to build the regional supply chain and achieve common goals of enhancing the availability of and access to good food. This session will highlight the collaborative effort taking shape between Global Growers’ land-based training and Common Market Georgia’s food hub to serve Georgia-based producers and consumers.
Presenters: Cody Hopkins, Sophia Kruszewski, Ben Maddox, Dave Payne, Tina Prevatte
How can a hub use market forces to work with producers to encourage more sustainable production practices? This session will display some innovative strategies being used successfully across the country.
Food hubs serving low income communities: innovative strategies for moving food to price sensitive and resource constrained buyers
Presenters: Dan Black, Noah Fulmer, Hannah Mellion, Quiana Mickie
Opportunities for Working with Small Farmers
Partners: Benjamin Bartley, Michael Frazier, Dave Prather, Lisa Reeder, Michael Schenck
Food Banks as Food Hubs
Partners: Kim Hanson, Roy Rollison, TJ Smith, Kathryn Stickland
Understanding hazard, risk and risk-based food safety regulations:
Presenters: Omar Oyarzabal
Food Safety Modernization Act Regulatory Update:
Presenter: Lauren Handel
Introduction to GroupGAP
Presenters: Audrey Draper, Kaley Grimland
Understanding and Mitigating Legal Liabilities
Presenter: Lauren Handel
A Food Hub's Guide to Financing:
Presenter: Darrow Isaacman-VanWertz and Alex Linkow
Managing Your Balance Sheet Towards a Financially Healthy Hub (level: intermediate)
Presenter: Robin Morris
Fun with metrics: An Interactive Journey Through Evaluating and Improving Your Food Hub's Finances
Presenter: Savanna Lyons
Innovations in Financing
Presenters: Alex Linkow, Franco Naccarato, Steve Saltzman, Kate Danaher
Unleashing the Power in Your Records: Using Financials To Strengthen Your Hub (level: beginner):
Presenters: Erin Pirro, Gary Matteson
As business sectors expand and formalize, many independent businesses organize to form trade associations and networks in order to increase efficiencies, advocate for policies or aggregate power in the marketplace. The food hubs enterprise community, encompassing food hubs in all their various models and forms, is beginning to explore the question of how to develop effective and equitable business networks, notably in order to work with larger and institutional food buyers. Efforts like the Michigan food hub network, Common Market’s GA affiliate, Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union and FairAcre Traders demonstrate an active exploration into network models. The food hub enterprise community can learn from hearing more detail on these particular cases and/or exploring the math and mechanics of how analogous values-driven business networks have launched, grown and matured. This session seeks to unfurl the key issues and dive into the good, the bad and the ugly of business network development.
Presenters: Rosemary Roe, Leslie Schaller
Southeastern Food Hubs: Working Together to Build a Regional Food Economy
Presenters: Carrie Furman, Tamara Jones, Susan Pavlin
How Land Grant Universities Can Help Regional Food Hubs Succeed
Presenters: Gwenael Engelskirchen, Gail Feenstra, Caroline Krejci, Savanna Lyons, Rich Pirog