Food Hub News and Events Archive
Economist: Food hubs under $1M in sales don't grow
May 5, 2014
A panel of food hub managers will form a round table this week in Winston-Salem, NC, including representatives from several North Carolina-based food hubs. The featured speaker is Smithson Mills, of agricultural and economic development research firm Smithson Mills, Inc., who says many people who create food hubs bite off more than they can chew. “It’s an extremely competitive market place,” he says. “A lot of organizers...go in with a sort of less than fully detailed understanding of what they’re getting into. You’ve got to scale up or else your chance or ever achieving break even status isn’t achievable. The pathway to success is to get to $1 million in sales annually, to make it work.” Mills will speak to conference attendees about how to scale appropriately for success.
What are food hubs and what do they do?
April 30, 2014
In March over 40 local food producers and resource providers gathered to hear a speaker from “Stewards of the Land” Food Hub in central Illinois talk about the structure of their business. But what is a food hub?
The term “food hub” emerged in the last decade to describe alternative food aggregation, distribution, and processing enterprises that began developing across the country. These entities sought to fill gaps in infrastructure to move food from farms to consumers within the same region. The USDA has incorporated the food hub concept into their efforts to build strong regional food systems.
USDA Funds National Food Hub Resource
April 21, 2014
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will fund a national version of FamilyFarmed.org’s publication “Building Successful Food Hubs: A Business Planning Guide for Aggregating and Processing Local Food in Illinois.” The guide serves as a resource for communities, businesses, not-for-profits and others interested in establishing food hubs in Illinois.
“For the past four years, FamilyFarmed.org has been on the forefront of the movement to create food hubs to aggregate, distribute, process, and sell sustainable local food,” Jim Slama, president of FamilyFarmed.org said. “This partnership with USDA will play a key role in informing and inspiring existing and aspiring food hub operators to grow their businesses. Doing so will help farmers sell much more food and meet the burgeoning demand for good food from supermarkets, restaurants, institutions, and consumers.”
Veritable Vegetable Certified B Corporation
Veritable Vegetable is proud to announce their recent certification as a B Corporation. Unlike traditional companies, certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and the environment. Certification by B Lab, a nonprofit organization, is attained after meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. There are currently 990 certified B Corporations in 32 countries, from over 60 industries: all share one common goal, to use the power of business to solve social and environmental challenges. Through this certification Veritable Vegetable is recognized for their commitment to high integrity relationships, quality products, minimal environmental impact, active involvement in their community, and their ongoing commitment to operate Veritable Vegetable based on values, rather than the bottom line, and provides a formal assessment tool for monitoring their progress moving forward.
“As a leader in the organic produce industry, Veritable Vegetable is an example of a rapidly growing part of the economy—the social enterprise,” says Bu Nygrens, Co-Owner of Veritable Vegetable. “By using business strategy to forward social and environment objectives, we hope to help bring about meaningful change for society. For us, that change includes a sustainable food system where the true cost of food is understood."
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension working on survey of food hubs
April 14, 2014
The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County wants to know whether it should develop local food hubs within the six-county area.
Under a regional grant, Cooperative Extension officials are conducting a survey for food producers to find out whether food hubs would benefit both north country food producers and consumers. The survey will gauge what is available and the potential for growth and determine where a food hub would be located.
The agency has scheduled a meeting for 6 to 8 p.m. May 14 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office, 203 N. Hamilton St., Watertown. To RSVP for the event, call Lisa Vaughn at 788-8450, ext. 261.
USDA: North Carolina Leading Food Hub Movement
April 11, 2014
In the past five years, the Southeast and North Carolina in particular have grown the food hub movement, setting an example for the rest of the country.
This is according to Doug O’Brien, the U.S. Department of Agriculture deputy under secretary of rural development, who attended the National Good Food Network in Raleigh at the end of March.
Farm to Market Food Hub Expanding, Opening Retail Outlet
April 9, 2014
Local Foods, a Chicago-based farmer-to-chef wholesale distributor, isexpanding its warehouse and adding a retail center and market. The company has signed a lease on a 27,000-square-foot facility at 1455 W. Willow in Bucktown and is set to open in the fall. The building will house a wholesale distribution center, a USDA-inspected meat-processing facility, shared office space and a 3,500-square-foot retail center and market offering the public local farm fare year round.
Food Hubs Continue to Pop Up Around the Country
- Sullivan County IDA, Hudson firm to revisit food hub sites
- Durham's Bella Bean Organics expanding sales of locally grown food
- Slow, steady approach set for food, farm initiative on former base
- W.Va. center floats idea of 'food hubs'
Researchers envision a fully sustainable New York City
March 28, 2014
In a bold new "thought-experiment," the Terreform Center for Advanced Urban Research, a multidisciplinary non-profit organization, envisions a fully sustainable New York City, with entire streets and avenues converted into greenways and farms.
According to the project website, several paradigm shifts must occur in order for the city to be fully self-sufficient. Stressing economic independence and self-sufficiency, the team envisions this to happen through the creation of an inter-borough exchange of production networks, utilizing a variety of skyscraper farms for plants and animals, as well as reclaiming streets and city blocks to grow food.
Food hubs could provide crucial link for Amish farmers
February 27, 2014
Lacking the infrastructure of traditional suppliers, many local farms that want to connect to restaurants, schools and other big buyers are using the Internet to reach customers. Groups of farms are banding together to form regional food hubs, leveraging online ordering, tracking and marketing tools to cut down on costs and to try to keep local food systems viable for growers and affordable for consumers.
But not all local producers are online – or even on the power grid, which puts them at a disadvantage. Amish farmers – whose ancestors arrived near Arcola, Ill., in the 1800s – want to continue to live simply on their farms.
Donald Kraybill, a senior fellow at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College, says many Amish communities are working out how to merge tradition with technology to sell the food they grow. Kraybill points to two successful models – Lancaster Farm Fresh in Pennsylvania andGreen Field Farms in Ohio – that are feeding a growing appetite for local food.
“[It’s] just a marriage made in Amish heaven, so to speak,” Kraybill said. “Between a movement among consumers as well as very good products that are family-friendly for the Amish.”
Food Hubs Improve Local Economy, Cornell Study Shows
February 20, 2014
According to Prof. Todd Schmit, applied economics and management at Cornell University, medium-scale farmers have faced barriers in distributing a sufficient amount of produce because farmer’s markets — such as the Cornell Farmers’ Market — do not address a wide enough audience. Solution: aggregation and distribution organizations known as food hubs.
Schmit, with Becca Jablonski and David Kay, published in December the results of a three-year study on the local economic impact of food hubs. The study focused on New York food hub Regional Access as part of their assessment, and the researchers interviewed producers and consumers across New York with whom the hub interacted with.
According to Jablonski, the researchers found that food hubs can improve local economies, which benefit farmers and customers alike.
“Farmers overwhelmingly reported that they can sell more products because of food hubs,” Jablonski said. “We talked to over 300 business customers and individual households, and they reported that they had better access to local food. So overall it improved the picture.”
Study Finds Local Foods’ Importance Growing Among Consumers
February 12, 2014
According to A.T. Kearney’s Buying into the Local Food Movement study, local food is a much more important consideration than organic food, with consumers embracing local food options because they think doing so helps local economies (66 percent), delivers a broader and better assortment of products (60 percent), and provides healthier alternatives (45 percent).
In terms of retail implications, almost 30 percent of grocery shoppers would consider purchasing food elsewhere if their preferred store does not carry local foods. When asked about the trustworthiness of different formats to deliver local food, farmers markets and farm stores rank first, followed by natural food markets, local food markets, national supermarkets and big box retailers. Read more here.
Food Hubs: Sustainable Agriculture's Missing Link
February 6, 2014
As part of a series that addresses pragmatic steps that can be taken to make regional food systems more sustainable, Grist's Nathanael Johnson discusses the valuable role of the "middleman" in the sustainable food movement. As Johnson puts it, "Middlemen...help farmers fill the missing middle of our food system. Right now we have big farms that move their food to market with industrial efficiency, and we have little farms that rely on dedicated eaters to drive out over the potholes, but we don’t have much in between." But food hubs are filling this role - in a way that is deceivingly normal compared to conventional distributors. Take Veritable Vegetable, for example: "to see what’s remarkable about Veritable you have to look closely: you have to notice that, for many farms, the produce isn’t coming by the truckload, or even the pallet, but just a few boxes at a time."
Tahoe Food Hub Raises More Than $28K in Crowdfund Campaign
February 5, 2014
Tahoe Food Hub (TFH) completed a two-and-a-half month crowdfunding campaign to buy a refrigerated delivery van. The effort raised more than $28K via a combination of online donations, business sponsorships and private donations. A crowdfunding campaign aggregates small donations from many people to achieve a financial goal for a specific project within a specific amount of time. “When people see the van drive around town, they will see their donation at work and know they helped play a critical part in bringing local farm food to our community,” said Susie Sutphin, director of the Tahoe Food Hub. “A refrigerated delivery van is the first thing you need when creating a regional distribution system. It ensures the food can travel safely to North Lake Tahoe’s restaurants, small grocers and schools.”
Local Foods Offer Tangible Economic Benefits in Some Regions
February 4, 2014
Despite their typically small size and sparse distribution, farms that sell their products locally may boost economic growth in their communities in some regions of the U.S., according to a team of economists from Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "There has been a lot of hope, but little evidence, that local food systems can be an engine of economic growth in communities," said Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics and director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development. "Our findings show that, at least in certain regions of the country, community-focused agriculture has had a measurable effect on economic growth." Read more here.
Leopold Center Awards Grants
February 3, 2014
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has awarded grants to 24 innovative research and demonstration projects — each falling under one or more of the Leopold Center’s initiatives: Ecology, Marketing and Food Systems, Policy and Cross-Cutting — that will help Iowa farmers improve soil health, take advantage of opportunities related to local foods and fine-tune alternative practices that protect the environment while using fewer outside inputs. “This year’s grants represent a broad array of science-based projects that will continue to build the sustainability of Iowa’s agriculture and food systems,” said Leopold Center director Mark Rasmussen in a news release. The new grants bring the Leopold Center’s current investment in research on agricultural alternatives to nearly $1.16 million.
Q&A with Oregon Food Bank's Sharon Thornberry
January 29, 2014
Sharon Thornberry, community food systems manager for Oregon Food Bank, is one of the organizers of a FEAST Community Conversation scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 8 in Forest Grove, OR. Area residents can attendthe meeting to discuss local food and agriculture needs. Thornberry answered a few questions about the event and local needs with The Oregonian. Learn more about the Oregon Food Bank and their local food program (along with other food banks serving at food hubs) at the NGFN Food Hub Conference, and check out our other confirmed speakers.
How Food Hubs are Helping New Farmers Break into Local Food
January 20, 2014
The growing local food market provides an opportunity for less experienced farmers to expand their business and polish their craft, and help is increasingly coming from food hubs, which can also serve as food processing and distribution centers. One such food hub is The Stewards of the Land in Illinois. Members of the food hub include about 40 small family farmers, each of whom pays a small fee to join. In exchange, they get cheaper liability insurance, and access to a much larger pool of clients and training. "The new generation of farmers is a little over half the group," says Marty, one of the farmer-members. "Many of them were under the age of 18 when they joined. We're very interested in growing great produce, but we're also very passionate about growing great farmers."
Morris Farm Tackles Hunger and Food Insecurity
January 16, 2014
In response to a substantial number of Lincoln County residents experiencing difficulty in finding healthy, affordable and accessible food, the Morris Farm Board of Trustees recently decided to focus on these food security issuesin the Wiscasset, ME area by becoming a center to gather, produce, process, store and distribute local farm products by working with local farmers and home gardeners - a community-based food hub.
Solution Project Makes its Case
January 14, 2014
The Solution Project has joined with the National Resources Defense Council toexpand its current focus on food production in the Mid-Hudson Valley area. Narrowsburg School Adaptive Reuse Project is proposing to convert the vacant Narrowsburg School building to a food hub for local farmers, including facilities for meat and dairy aging and packaging, as well as to a college-level satellite campus with SUNY Sullivan in Loch Sheldrake. “This is an opportunity", says Vice President Jennifer Grossman. "And it’s adaptively reusing a facility. These rural schools were always considered a central meeting area. It can be a place that food is aggregated as it can include processing and packaging, office administration, and training.”
Access to Healthy Food and Why it Continues to Matter
January 10, 2014
A new report (Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters: A Review of the Research) shows that healthy food access continues to be a critical factor for improving both the physical and economic health and well-being of communities. Healthy food retailers such as grocery stores, farmers markets, cooperatives, and mobile markets have been increasing in many limited access communities through several innovative approaches that help improve food access. And in Michigan, the MI Food Policy Council released its 2013 recommendations in September, which outline opportunities for increasing healthy food access and food industry jobs, Cultivate a Safe, Healthy, Accessible Food Supply and Build Michigan’s Economy.
Southern SAWG Annual Conference to be Held January 15-18
Farmers, researchers, community leaders, and sustainable agriculture advocates should attend this conference for information on organic and sustainable vegetable, livestock and specialty crop production, unique marketing strategies, urban farming, farm to school, business and finance management, community food systems work, useful federal farm programs and agriculture policy developments. The conference will include over 60 educational sessions, a series of networking sessions and a trade show, and takes place Jan. 15-18 at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. Learn more and register here.
Good Food BC Gets Grant Funding
January 8, 2014
Members of Good Food Battle Creek in MI have received grants from Fair Food Network to continue their work related to food justice and improving local food systems. The organizations - Sprout Urban Farm, the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, Dudley STEM School, and Leila Arboretum Society - will use the money for work that includes young people of the community in hopes of creating educational and entrepreneurial training.
Food Hubs: Clarifying the Concept
December 31, 2013
Michigan State University Extension strives to assist communities by providing relevant information about food hub systems and provide technical assistance to people representing a number of food system related businesses, including arecent article that tries to clarify exactly what is and is not a food hub. "Food hubs are not defined so much by their business structure but by their function and producer outcomes." Visit MSU Center for Regional Food Systems for more information on how MSU is supporting healthy regional food systems.
First Ever Native American Food Hub in New Mexico
December 26, 2013
The Ten Southern Pueblos Council, in partnership with the Acoma Business Enterprises, was awarded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) through USDA. The RBEG financial support is funding a study to determine how best to manage the distribution of food produced by native growers in New Mexico through a food hub concept. This will be the first ever Native American Food Hub in the nation.
Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture Technical Assistance Program
December 15, 2013
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection isproviding up to $3000 in funding to schools that purchase local food, food hubs, distributors and aggregators as part of the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Program. “The individualized technical assistance provided will result in an increase of sales and purchases of local foods in the state,” says DATCP program manager Teresa Engel. This technical assistance can be used for a variety of needs, for a variety of needs, including accounting, business planning, food safety, legal services, software training, marketing or packaging, to enter new markets or better understand the logistics of farm to school. Interested parties should visit this site by February 15 to complete a questionnaire. Complete application materials will be provided if questionnaire is accepted.
Howard County, MD Launches New Food Program to Connect Residents with Local Growers
December 9, 2013
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced a a partnership between the county and The Horizon Foundation for a new program and food hub that will connect residents with locally grown food. The Howard County Food Policy Task Force will be in charge of creating the food hub, which will collect, store and process locally produced healthy foods in one place, according to a county release."A smart and sustainable food initiative is the next step in our efforts to make Howard County a model public health community," said County Executive Ken Ulman in a statement. "We can boost the production of food, and get that food into the mouths of the people who need it." Ulman asked the task force to develop plans for the food hub within a year.
South Carolina Study Calls for Expanding the State's Local Produce Economy
December 5, 2013
A long-awaited SC Agricultural Department study, “Making Small Farms Into Big Business,” calls for a nearly $10 million, three-year program to organize food nodes across the state where farmers would cooperate in growing produce for local consumption, ie. food hubs. It also found that the state's small farms “have more potential to grow the economy, create jobs and build healthier communities,” and estimates that farmers could snag $1.2 billion a year by reversing the current trend of importing 90% of the state's food purchases.
Common Market Participates in USDA Google+ Local Food Hangout
November 21, 2013
Study Hub Common Market participated in yesterday's Google+ Hangout on local and regional food systems and the #myfarmbill conversation, hosted by Elanor Starmer, USDA's National Coordinator for Local and Regional Food Systems and the coordinator of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative. Haile represented Common Market in the Hangout to speak about food hubs, recent funding through the USDA Community Food Project grantand GSK IMPACT award, and the issues resulting from Congress' failure to pass a farm bill. See a recording of the Hangout on the USDA Google+ page.
USDA Infographic: Food Hubs - Building Businesses and Sustaining Communities
November 20, 2013
The USDA published a new infographic highlighting the innovative role food hubs play in the food economy. The infographic pulls from the 2013 National Food Hub Survey and other USDA and Wallace Center projects, includingMoving Food Along the Value Chain, the Regional Food Hub Resource Guide, and Building Successful Food Hubs.
November 15, 2013
One of the Wallace Center's Study Hubs, Local Food Hub in Charlottesville, VA, celebrated the 5th annual Farm to School week with samples of locally grown apples and cider at local elementary schools. “I don’t know if the kids understand just how much of the food in their lunch is from local sources,” said city schools spokeswoman Beth Cheuk. “It’s not just today. They have these foods every day.”
Vilsack: All Americans Benefit from Local and Regional Markets
November 15, 2013
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack discussed on his blog this week the importance of local and regional markets, from farmers markets to food hubs, and the government's role in encouraging and funding these projects. Local and regional markets benefit farmers and ranchers when they gain access to new and expanded markets; families by increasing the availability of healthy and locally-produced food; low-income communities by increasing opportunities for SNAP redemption at farmers market; and eaters everywhere by encouraging new and beginning farmers. Vilsack also discussed the importance of passing the Farm Bill to continue the support of local and regional food. To help show the rapid growth of local food markets across the country, USDA created theKnow Your Farmer, Know Your Food compass, an online tool showing the many places USDA has supported these opportunities.
Local Food Hub Efforts Grow
November 14, 2013
The Galesburg, IL Register-Mail announced the collective effort between several Galesburg parties is moving forward in its plans to bring a food hub to the community. As a result of many community discussions, it was realized that the project would only come to fruition as an organized collaboration. The group is made up of a few local growers, buyers and other interested parties, and met last week to hear the results of a feasibility study, considered by many to be one of the most important steps toward eventually implementing a food hub.
Facilities in Development to Help Local Farmers
November 13, 2013
The Daily Iowan reported that a new Food Enterprise Center or Food Hub is in development with the goal of increasing farmers' financial sustainability. Jason Grimm, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development food-system planner, was awarded a block grant last year by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors to work with Jesse Singerman of Prairie Ventures to research the local food industry. The report discussed the possibility of a new Food Enterprise Center or Food Hub in Johnson or Linn County. Singerman said these facilities have different, but equally important, functions. A Food Enterprise Center would provide needed infrastructure for food processing and food preparation, including kitchens, food prep rooms, and cooled storage. A Food Hub would handle the distribution and aggregation of local foods, making them more available to the consumer.Grimm and Singerman are currently working on a proposed planning grant to the Leopold Center at Iowa State University. This grant would fund research to decide whether a facility of this type is feasible in the Johnson County area.
October 29, 2013
The UP Food Exchange is a great example of organizations banding together to bring local food to a broader audience. Organizations such as food hubs and food hub networks often need funding to get started or to carry out their mission, and with millions of dollars in state and federal funding tied to increasing the availability of local food, they just need to know where to look.
October 25, 2013
The former Navy commissary building in Topsham, ME, left vacant for two years due to the closure of Brunswick Naval Air Station, is on the verge of major redevelopment pending signatures on leases with two companies that hope to create a local food hub; Wicked Joe Coffee, currently located on Water Street in Brunswick, and Maine Harvest Company are finalizing funding to move into the former commissary.
October 21, 2013
The Field & Fork Network has received $175,000 funding from Farm Credit Northeast and the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Fund to start a planning and feasibility study for a five-county region — Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee and Wyoming counties in New York state. Field & Fork Network will work with Chicago-based New Venture Advisors and Cornell University’s Harvest NY team to execute the food hub project. New Venture Advisors has worked on 13 food hub ventures across the United States since 2009. Harvest NY’s goal is to support new agricultural economic development opportunities in Western New York. “Of the 7,500 farms that exist in Western New York, more than 88 percent are considered small farms. And many grow and raise outstanding agriculture products. Unfortunately, due to market constraints, these farmers have been left out of the wholesale market,” says Field & Fork director Tucker said. “We expect this project to address and eventually mitigate those market barriers for both farmers and for institutional buyers who want to source local products.”
October 20, 2013
In the face of the obviously broken food system, there are many examples of good food systems in the making, with food hubs as one strong example among many. From the Huffington Post: "Agroecologically-managed smallholder farms like those in Latin America's Campesino a Campesino Movement increase yields; conserve soil, water and biodiversity; and capture carbon to cool the planet. Urban farms from Havana to Bangkok are steadily increasing food production and improving livelihoods. Community-supported Agriculture groups around the world provide fresh, healthy food for members and a living income for local family farmers. Hundreds of municipal Food Policy Councils and Food Hubs are implementing citizen-driven initiatives to keep the food dollar in the community where it can recycle up to five times, thereby creating jobs and kick-starting local economic development. What do all these efforts have in common? They are grounded in sustainable, equitable and dignified livelihoods. Food security is ensured by citizens' democratic control over their food system, what many food activists are calling: food sovereignty."
October 10, 2013
St. Louis Food Hub announced it will open a new full-service grocery store that features locally grown foods from farms that practice sustainable agriculture. In addition to local fare, Fields Foods will sell a large selection of gluten-free, organic and non-genetically modified foods. The 37,000-square-foot building features extensive retail space, a wine and beer bar, and specialized sections for seafood, cheeses, meats and prepared foods. Fields Foods is set to open in January, 2014 near Lafayette Square in the heart of St. Louis, and the owners plan to replicate their concept where there is a scarcity of healthful grocery stores.
October 9, 2014
A local developer in Orlando works to open a new food hub on the East Side that centers around community learning and engagement in local foods. The plan is to house roughly a dozen merchants, a restaurant, and a variety of spaces to encourage new entrepreneurship. It will be a community learning center, a food hub for the quality-conscious, and an event spot for gatherings and special occasions.
October 3, 2013
As demand increases for locally grown products, food centers or hubs are thriving, based on the recent survey coordinated by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the Wallace Center. Of the hubs that participated in the 2013 National Food Hub Survey — the largest national survey of food hubs to date — 95 percent reported an increase in demand for their products and services. The hubs actively manage the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of local and regional food products. “More markets — such as restaurants, K-12 schools, and small grocery stores — are requesting local food in larger volumes than individual small and mid-size farmers can individually supply,” says Rich Pirog, senior associate director of the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and co-convener of the Michigan Food Hub Network. “Food hubs are part of the evolution of the local food movement. They are playing a role in getting more ‘source-identified' food out to a demanding public.”
October 1, 2013
The Food Safety Modernization Act set safety standards on how farmers grow, harvest and handle fresh produce to reduce the risk of foodborne diseases, including testing for water safety and better managing manure storage. Small farms (those with under $25,000 in annual food sales) are exempted from these federal regulations, but distributors and grocery stores are increasingly implementing their own separate standards on food safety, adding to the confusion and concern about the requirements coming down the line. According to Penn State researchers, agricultural extension educators can help teach farmers about the changing landscape of food safety regulations. "We should try to focus on creating programs for growers so that they can do what they need to do economically to stay viable as they face new regulations and standards that can be complex and intimidating," said Daniel Tobin, doctoral candidate in agricultural economics, sociology and education.
Save the Date: National Food Hub Conference: March 26-28, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina
Mark your calendars! The Wallace Center and NGFN Food Hub Collaboration will host a National Food Hub Conference March 26-28, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. There will be pre-conference tours, compelling panels and speakers, and plenty of opportunities for networking. If you missed our 2012 National Food Hub Conference, you can read the proceedings here. More details will be announced soon.
Common Market Philadelphia, one of NGFN's study hubs, is a nonprofit distributor of local, sustainably produced foods. Their mission is to increase the availability of locally grown food throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including reaching populations that lack access to fresh food. Since its founding in 2008, Common Market has moved over 200,000 cases of local produce, dairy and meats. Common Market partners with an average of 75 family farms and over 150 customers each year, including schools, colleges, hospitals, grocery stores, workplaces, nonprofit organizations and faith institutions. “Reaching the five year mark is a big deal. Before five years, you’re still an experiment – people are waiting to see if you succeed,” said Tatiana Garcia Granados, Common Market Co-Founder and Executive Director. “We can now show what we are doing is working and making a difference.” The new space, a 70,000 square foot warehouse, is large enough to accommodate Common Market’s growing operations, as well as to provide spaces available for rent to other food enterprises and social entrepreneurs. Common Market raised close to $2 million for the relocation and renovation, including a new state-of-the-art 6,000 square foot cooler complex.
CSA Coordinator Aims to Create Local Food Hub
September 20, 2013
Megan Andreozzi worked for one of the largest organic CSAs in the country before they scaled back and declared bankruptcy last year. Now, she is turning the store she manages, Hunt or Gather Local Food Marketplace in Colorado Springs, CO, into an "educational hub." "If someone comes in, I want to be able to give them all of their options for local food, including the restaurants in town that serve local," she said. "We want to be a one-stop shop for that kind of knowledge. We're going to start doing classes. So the retail side is just a small, small portion of what we are doing."
National Study Shows Food Hubs are Profitable Businesses
September 18, 2013
The 2013 National Food Hub Survey, conducted by MSU’s Center for Regional Food Systems and the Wallace Center at Winrock International, show that hubs throughout the United States continue to develop as financially viable businesses providing locally produced food to restaurants, schools, grocery stores and other wholesale customers.
Food hubs may also provide much needed size-appropriate infrastructure and marketing opportunities for local food produced by small and midsized farms and ranches.
“Surveys such as this one provide much needed data for those looking to fund, evaluate and further investigate the role of food hubs in regional food systems. It also provides a way for us to track the change in food hub development over the next decade – we intend to conduct this survey every two years,” said Michael Hamm, C.S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and CRFS director.
National Co-op Month
October is National Co-op Month! Co-op Month has been recognized in the US since 1930 in celebration of the 29,000 cooperatives across the country -businesses owned and democratically controlled by the people who use their services and whose benefits are derived and distributed equitably on the basis of use. Co-ops include natural foods stores, banks, manufacturers, utilities and rural services, and everything in between. In addition, co-ops continue to grow; for example, despite decreasing numbers of agricultural co-ops (mostly due to mergers) memberships and asset values are up and 2011 saw a record year in farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives’ sales. The USDA supports co-ops through education, research, collecting data on farmer, rancher and fishery cooperatives, publications, funding, and technical assistance.
How Incubator Farms are Growing Sustainable Agriculture
September 11, 2013
Any farmer will tell you how difficult farming is and how narrow the profit margins are, even for established farms, but beginning farmers face a steeper uphill battle that includes the surging price of land, the additional costs of infrastructure and equipment, and access to credit. In addition, many new farmers are immigrants whose challenges often include learning a new language and farmer education. But organizations like the Minnesota Food Association, the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, the Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability in Wisconsin, and California’s Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association are providing opportunities to help new and immigrant farmers to overcome these hurdles. These services can include leasing out land (often for below-market value), micro-loans, education and training on organic agriculture, shared equipment and tools, and organizing multi-grower Community Supported Agriculture programs. But many of these organizations are funded in part by the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, currently at risk of being de-funded as the Farm Bill continues to be in limbo. For more information visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website.
Chipotle Launches New Video and Game
September 17, 2013
“The Scarecrow” – both the video and arcade-style game of the same name – have attracted lots of attention since they were released last week. Both the game and the film depict a scarecrow’s journey to bring wholesome food back to the people by providing an alternative to the processed food that dominates his world. This is not only Chipotle’s latest attempt to market to millennials – the chain’s core customer base – but also reflects its widely touted values of providing “food with integrity”: sustainably-grown ingredients from family farms, meat from animals raised without antibiotics or hormones, and organic and local produce whenever possible.
Profile: Common Market Philadelphia
PolicyLink and Healthy Food Access have published a profile on Common Market Philadelphia, one of the Wallace Center's study hubs. Since 2008,Common Market has been increasing community access to local healthy produce while helping small-scale sustainable farmers find additional markets, and strengthening local and regional economies. As a mission-driven organization, Common Market seeks to provide nutritious, affordable, locally grown food to all, including the most vulnerable communities.
Farmers respond to Food Safety Modernization Act
Farmers at a recent meeting in Hanover, NH expressed concerns shared by many small farmers across the country: that "increased regulations on water quality, manure usage and even added paperwork will be an added cost that could bring smaller farmers to the tipping point", articulates Jake Guest from Norwich. In addition, they fear that the larger farms who have been responsible for many food safety outbreaks will be less affected by the new regulations because their resources will make it easier to adapt. FDA officials were on hand to hear the farmers' perspective, as one in a series of public meetings for those directly affected by the law to have the chance to voice their concerns before it's implemented. Michael Taylor insisted that "[the FDA is]...very committed to the idea that a one size fits all regulation does not work". The law requires that the final regulations for FSMA be ironed out by the summer of 2015, and it is expected to take a couple of years after that for farmers to come into full compliance. Public comments are being accepted into November, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition helps walk commenters through the process.
From the Farmer is a new local produce delivery service that transports fruit and vegetables from the farm right to the customers’ front door – between midnight and 7am. With free home delivery, multiple fresh items available each week, and no commitment, this program represents an ever-more-popular twist on the traditional CSA model.
Tell me again: What's a food hub?
In case you missed it above, check out this video by Red Tomato, called Local Food in Every Shopping Cart. It’s a great introduction to the challenges of getting local food into the marketplace and the function of food hubs!
Local Food Day celebration bolsters health and economics of The Ozarks
August 15, 2013
Many of us are familiar with National Food Day, the grassroots effort to cultivate healthy people and healthy communities across the country. KSMU Radio reports that this year’s Food Daycelebration in Springfield, MO will be the culmination of a four-month long food celebration of good food, providing educational and experiential opportunities for the community. This event, sponsored by FoodCORE, will include movie events, local farmer awards, and a harvest party.
Double Up Food Bucks evaluation demonstrates success
August 9, 2013
A report by the Fair Food Network addresses the effectiveness of Michigan’s Double Up Food Bucks program, in which farmers markets match SNAP purchases in order to incentivize purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables. Key impacts of the surveys found that the participating markets had a 16 percent increase in SNAP users, and market managers reported seeing more new and repeat customers, higher percentage of people not just looking but also purchasing local food, and serving a more diverse customer base that included younger families and lower-income individuals. 13,306 customers used SNAP for the first time at farmers markets during 2012 DUFB season.
Baltimore plans new food hub
Baltimore plans to renovate an abandoned pumping station into the area's newest food hub, including commercial kitchens for local entrepreneurs, a canning facility run by Woodberry Kitchen's Spike Gjerde, a 1-acre farm and a market.
Workshop to focus on food hubs
August 9, 2013
The second workshop in the "Food Hubs and Co-ops: How local family farms can feed our communities" series will be offered Aug. 29, 2013, 9 a.m. - noon in the Douglas County Fair's Dreher Building, 2110 Harper St, Lawrence, Kansas. The workshop will provide farmers, community organizations, and local governmental entities with information on the multiple phases of food hub development. Using the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative as a case study, the workshop will explore best practices in food hub development and outline the project phases including: identifying opportunities and need, conducting a feasibility study, developing a business plan, and launching the food hub.
Georgia’s agriculture industry becoming more global and more local
August 5, 2013
While Georgia’s agriculture tends to bring to mind berries, pecans, leafy greens and cotton for export, farmers – with state government support – are focusing more on local markets. Last week’s Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable hosted a “Farm to Fork: Transforming Georgia’s Local Food System” included Jenni Harris of White Oak Pastures; Julia Gaskin with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and moderator Don Cooper of Georgia Organics. Gaskin noted the importance of providing Georgia growers with the necessary infrastructure to get their produce to the wholesale market, including local school systems. For farms too small to provide the quantity necessary for wholesalers, they can work with a food hub, and efficient way for farmers to provide their produce locally but on a broader scale.
Farm laborers get a foothold with their own organic farms
July 31, 2013
NPR’s Morning Edition reports on the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA Organics), based in Salinas, CA, that provides educational and business opportunities for farm workers and aspiring farmers to grow and sell crops on two organic farms in Monterey County. California has long relied on migrant agricultural workers, who work long hours for low wages to pick the nation’s vegetables. But the opportunities provided by ALBA allow these workers to be their own boss, the first time for many of them. ALBA Organics leases land to the farmers, trains them in organic farm management, and then purchases their produce as part of their food hub business selling to local grocery stores.
University of Missouri education farm has new director and focus on food systems
July 31, 2013
The 67-acre education farm owned by the University of Missouri since 2006 fell on hard financial times over the last couple of years, but has now under new management and has decided to change their focus to research into food systems, including agricultural production, processing and nutrition, hoping to attract expanded opportunities for research and funding.
Food Hub movement gaining momentum across Michigan
July 29, 2013
Food hubs are proving invaluable to communities by helping smaller farmers reach larger institutional and wholesale markets, helping the producers overcome some of the barriers by creating a reliable supply of local products and distribution system, and helping the purchasers looking to increase their institutions’ local food use by increasing the reliability of deliveries and quantities.Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems andMSU Extension Community Food System team work with many food hubs, and provide a valuable resource to new and emerging food hubs in the state of Michigan and across the county. The growth of food hubs in Michigan is demonstrated by the attendance at the latest State-wide Food Hub Network of over 100 people involved in food hubs in Michigan.
Food Hubs Try to Grow Local Farms
July 18, 2013
Food hubs are springing up across the country in answer to the growing desire for local food by restaurants, schools and hospitals. The small farms that make up the majority of local producers often have a difficult time fulfilling the large orders demanded by institutions, so food hubs – networks of regional farms that find strength in numbers and access to cheaper liability insurance, access to a much larger pool of businesses and farmer training – are increasing rapidly. The USDA estimates over 220 food hubs in 40 states, plus DC, and recently awarded nearly $100,000 to set up three food hubs in Central Illinois.
Know where your food comes from: RealTimeFarms.com
A new crowd-sourced nationwide food guide, RealTimeFarms.com, enables customers to trace their food back to the farm it came from, whether staying in or dining out, so they can find food they feel good about eating. The tool is free to consumers and producers, and restaurants are charged for the use of the menu management tools that manage their menus across multiple platforms and link into a guide, connecting consumers to images, stories, and growing practices of each producer. Co-founder Cara Rosaen describes her motivation: “We can change the way people eat, we just have to give them the tools to do so… [because] without transparency, we have no choice.” Hear more from Cara Rosaen at Tedx Manhattan.
Ideas sprouting from Central Louisiana's local foods group
July 18, 2013
The newly-formed Central Louisiana Local Foods Initiative has big goals: improve the health of local residents by giving them more fresh food options and stimulate the economy by growing the market for locally grown products and creating new infrastructure to support it, and identify food initiatives the food policy council can pursue on a regional scale. These goals have sparked “Eat Local” community discussions, a Local Foods Regional Working Group, a community table at the Cane River Green Market for backyard gardeners can sell their produce cooperatively (also debuting at the Second Saturday Market at the Alexandria Museum of Art). The Local Foods Initiative was started by CLEDA with grants from the Rapides Foundation and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana.
Real Food Challenge picks Portland, ME to promote greater use of local foods in schools
July 18, 2013
Portland, ME, is hosting the Real Food Challenge organizers this week, according to the Bangor Daily News. The public is invited to an informal networking event with retreat participants Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Local Sprouts Cafe on Congress Street. Portland Mayor Michael Brennan has been outspoken about a goal to increase the amount of locally produced food used in Portland Public Schools from about 7 percent to 50 percent within the next five years. The Real Food Challenge hopes to divert 20 percent of the $5 billion annually spent by American colleges and universities on food toward locally grown, sustainable foods, creating $1 billion per year in new revenues for the country’s local and organic farmers and food producers.
Virtual harvest: A rapidly growing Eugene startup links farmers and customers
July 7, 2013
A small Eugene startup, Local Food Marketplace, created the technology that powers Eugene Local Foods, and 60 other online markets like it in the United States and Canada. The company is growing rapidly, fueled by consumers, restaurants and schools who want to easily buy products from local farms, even using their smartphones to do so. The convenience factor is reaching the farmers too: “What we harvest has already been sold,” says Donna Stearns of Sweetwater Farm. Convenience and less waste is a obvious boon to small farmers who rely on direct marketing to their customers. "When the ordering process closes Monday morning, I print off a sheet and it shows exactly what has already been bought, so there’s no waste on our end and that is just a huge benefit.”
UN delegate visits St. Vincent de Paul in Portland
July 9, 2013
As part of World Environment Day in June, the City of Portland and a United Nations delegation highlighted Portland's achievements in reducing food waste and developing sustainable food systems. In addition to a press conference and knowledge exchange with local experts at City Hall, the delegation toured the Portland Farmer's Market and made a site visit to the St. Vincent de Paul food bank in Southeast Portland, where a partnership with the Port of Portland is diverting food from the waste stream at Portland's airport to hungry families in the city and region.
Ag Department encouraging entrepreneurial food hubs
July 8, 2013
WBFO’s “All Things Considered” reports that through its many efforts, USDA is helping small farmers and the local food movement thrive while continuing to increase production. In response to the riding demand for local food and increasing specialization of small farms, the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative, the USDA is “working to make sure and to support that conversation in the nation on where food comes from,” says the acting undersecretary for rural development, Doug O’Brien.
Webinar: Farming for Beneficial Insects: Pollinators, Predators, and Parasitoids
The USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center and Xerces Society co-hosted a webinar this week on supporting beneficial insects on farms. With the advent of chemical pesticides, the contributions of beneficial insects (those that prey upon or parasitize crop pests) were largely forgotten. However, pesticides alone have not solved the problem of crop pests. “Conservation Biological Control,” is a strategy that seeks to integrate beneficial insects back into crop systems for natural pest control. You can view the archived webinar here:http://www.conservationwebinars.net/webinars/farming-for-beneficial-insects-pollinators-predators-and-parasitoids/webinar_view
Innovation on the Farm: Food Hubs Help Local Farmers
July 4, 2013
In response to the quickly growing local and organic food market, Rufus Haucke and his siblings bought back their family farm, but quickly realized that growing food was only part of the business of farming. Enter food hubs. Now Haucke's farm serves as the parent farm for Just Local, which connects the food from 40 other local farms to area grocers, restaurants, wholesalers and Farm2School programs.
Douglas County Receives Grants to Study Food Hub Feasibility
June 26, 2013
Douglas County has been awarded two grants to fund a feasibility study in 16 counties in northeast Kansas, from the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant program and the Kansas Health Foundation. Feasibility studies try to determine how much institutional demand there is in an area for locally grown foods, the interest and capacity of local producers to take part in expanded local sales, especially to institutions, and the best business model for a new food hub.
Sullivan Farmers Say Food Hub Grant will Help Them Stay Afloat
June 20, 2013
Farmers in Sullivan County, New York are excited that the county's IDA secured $200,000 in federal funding for a food hub. They say that it will help these small farms stay in business by aggregating and marketing their produce.
Wholesome Wave and CEI Invest in Rhode Island Food Hub
June 3, 2013
CEI and Wholesome Wave are working together to provide business development assistance and “patient capital” to Farm Fresh Rhode Island. This financing will help Farm Fresh Rhode Island double produce storage and expand its Mobile Market and Veggie Box programs.
In Virginia, a Food Hub Helps Growers Scale Up
May 31, 2013
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Blue Ridge Produce in Elkwood, VA, discussing the important role that food hubs play in supporting farmers' capability to improve and expand their production. Vilsack discussed the USDA's most recent initiatives that can provide growers with funding, education and technical assistance opportunities. Find out more about these opportunities here.
Food hub establishes website for online produce orders
May 29, 2013
The Hoosier Harvest Market in West Lafayette, IN is a new web-based marketplace supported by the Central Indiana Food Hub. Consumers can shop online from a variety of farmers whose produce is aggregated and packaged at a central location, and then distributed to a variety of pickup points.
Webinar: How to Sell Fruits and Vegetables to the USDA
May 23, 2013
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. EST, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will present a free interactive webinar, “How to Sell Fruits and Vegetables to the USDA.” Space is limited so sign up today! For more information on what products AMS buys, visit the Commodity Procurement website, www.ams.usda.gov/commoditypurchasing.
Food Hubs: From Farm To Table
May 22, 2013
Listen to this radio show hosted on NPR, where James Barham of the USDA-AMS, Matt Mulder of Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, and Zach Buckner of Relay Foods delve into the importance and success of food hubs around the nation in response to the demand for locally grown food.
Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative
May 2, 2013
Southern Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin, received a Value Added Producer Grant from the USDA. They will use this $150,000 to assist in the start-up of a food hub and packinghouse. The food hub will aggregate local produce sold under the Wisconsin Farmed brand.
Fort Myers Urban Food Hub Growing With Help Of Community
Construction has started on the ReFresh
project, located in the Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans. The food hub will be located in a supermarket that has been vacant since Hurricane Katrina.Values-Based Food Supply Chain Case Study: Idaho’s Bounty
Idaho's Bounty was featured in a series by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems that examines values-based food supply chains. This case study identifies Idaho's Bounty as an integral piece to a food system that is dependent on cooperation and mutual support.
21 Acres: A new hub for connected local agriculture
April 29, 2013
21 Acres is now an active food hub in Woodinville, Washington that is committed to supporting local growers, educating the community and running an ecofriendly operation. Take a look at their website for more information.
Washington State Food Hub Connects Small Growers to Large Buyers, Satisfying Demand for Local Food
April 25, 2013
The Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC) in Northwest Washington has been working with farmers to establish food hubs so that they can break current barriers associated with getting their products to market.
Building a stronger food hub
April 12, 2013
April 10, 2013
Quad Cities Food Hub will be hosting an open house on April 18th from 6 to 8pm at the Food Hub Market in the Freight House on River Drive in downtown Davenport.
WFU Helping to Create New Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative
April 8, 2013
The Wisconsin Farmers Union is working to develop a new food hub called the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative in an effort to create new, local markets for growers to sell their fresh produce.
To market: Farmers wanted for grassroots local food hub
April 7, 2013
Farmers in Catskills, NY are discussing the potential for creating a local food hub to market to New York City customers. With the help of Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE), farmers learned about the processes involved in becoming market-ready for wholesale distribution.
Spokane Conference to Explore Food Hub Potential
March 28, 2013
The potential for a food hub will be discussed at the Power of our Regional Food Economy Conference in Spokane, WA, where currently only 2% of food is sourced regionally.
Farms' food hubs mean business
March 19, 2013
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo recently invested $3.6 million in regional food hubs. These state grants demonstrate the importance of food hubs to supporting regional economies and food systems.
NC project helps food go from farm to table by smoothing out supply-chain
Farmhand Foods, one of the Wallace Center's Study Hubs, is an aggregator and distributor for meat in North Carolina. Not only do they play a role in increasing the farmers' income, they provide services that a small farmer doesn't have easy access to including processing and marketing of the product.
Upcoming food hub to reuse hospital building, support local economy
March 12, 2013
The Traverse Bay Economic Development Corporation received a $50,000 to build the Traverse City food hub. The food hub will be located in an old hospital building and should be active by the end of 2014.
Big Save Lihu‘e envisioned as a Kaua‘i Made food hub
March 11, 2013
A new food hub called Big Save is in the early stages of development on the island of Kaua'i. The hub will be used for aggregation and distribution but also third party food processing for value added products, and will include meat processing capabilities.
Feed Fayetteville plans community food hub in former church
March 06, 2013
Local food charity, Feed Fayetteville, is working to create a sustainable food system in Fayetteville by developing a food hub in the building that once was a church. Future plans are to have a demonstration spaces in addition to the aggregation and distribution center so that the community not only has access to fresh food, but has the knowledge of how to grow and prepare local foods.
Information needed for Gem County, ID food hub survey
March 06, 2013
The Gem County Community Food Hub Advisory Council needs information from local producers to determine the feasibility of a food hub in the Valley of Plenty. Answers must be turned in by March 22, 2013.
National Innovation Fund Grant will Support Local Food Hub
March 02, 2013
The Convergence Partnership has awarded the the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD) with $50,000 to develop a food hub "build healthier, more equitable communities."
USDA Releases Report on the Growing Importance of Food Hubs in Rural America
February 27, 2013
February 22, 2013
The NW Columbia Food Hub in Richland, Washington is working to increase access to locally produced food by forming a farmers' cooperative for their market. As a non-profit, they try to give as much back to the farmers as possible and are prepared to tell consumers exactly where there food comes from and how it's produced.
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. & Wholesome Wave Launch Seafood Distribution Study
February 20, 2013
CEI of Portland, Maine in partnership with Wholesome Wave, will be completing a feasibility study to find the best ways to integrate local seafood into the regional food markets. Take a look at this video to find out more.
The Food Hub Solution
February 15, 2013
This article describes a community-centric food hub, CornUcopia Place, focusing not only on community economic development but also assuring the health of the community. To promote access to healthier food, the hub sells food through a healthy cafe and a mobile market, which reaches food deserts throughout the city.
Green Mountain Farm-to-School is Hiring a Food Hub Associate
February 4, 2013
Green Mountain Farm-to-School seeks a dynamic, mission-driven; food; systems professional with strong business and organization skills to support the growth of our organization. Take a look at the complete job description.
Survey says: Georgia farmers interested in forming food hubs as a means of marketing produce, fresh meat, and eggs
January 31, 2013
Results from a survey of 216 farmers in Georgia concluded that farmers are interested in working together to meet local food demands. Specifically, 62% of the farmers said that they were interested in forming local food hubs. For more information on the study see www.SustainAgGA.org.
Vermont's value added agriculture: First came the cheese, now comes the charcuterie?
January 29, 2013
Mad River Food Hub in Waitsfield is part of Vermont's movement to replicate the model that yielded a prosperous cheese industry, to promote local meat processing. The food hub will be converting an old Ben and Jerry's factory to a meat processing facility that will produce salamis and prosciuttos.
‘Food hub’ seen as way to promote local agriculture
January 21, 2013
The Douglas County Food Policy Council in Kansas is working to determine the food hub model that will meet the needs of their community and secure appropriate funding to begin hub development.
'Food hub' expands to meet growing demand
January 18, 2013
Check out this news clip about the Intervale Food Hub that provides food for consumers in the Burlington region for prices comparable to that of grocery stores.
Cornell Cooperative Extension gets money to build Madison County agricultural hub
January 9, 2013
A third food hub in New York will be funded by the Regional Economic Development Council's generous grant awards. The Madison County Cornell Cooperative Extension was awarded $1.5 million to develop a food hub that will include a processing facility, teaching kitchen and farmers' market.
NY Food Hubs Receive Funds from the Regional Economic Development Council
January 3, 2013
New York's Regional Economic Development Council has recently awarded Finger Lakes Food Hub of Ithaca, NY with $450,000 and the proposed Food Hub in Canton, NY with $350,000.
- “Food Hub” Increases Access to Locally Grown Foods
December 31, 2012
One of our Study Hubs, Jack and Jake's, was featured on ABC news in Louisiana as a successful business model that connects local farmers and fishermen to consumers, specifically focusing on creating access to fresh foods for those living in New Orleans.
- Local Food Distribution Moves Beyond The Farmers' Market
December 20, 2012
Listen to the Vermont Public Radio as they discuss local food movements around the state. Consumers are playing an active role in the aggregation and distribution of locally produced food.
- Farm Fresh Rhode Island Sales up by 50% this year
December 14, 2012
Farm Fresh Rhode Island food hub has experienced growth since it's beginnings in 2009 due to its innovative sales model--the Mobile Market. Sourcing from 60 farms in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the hub was able to reach $1,500,000 in sales this year.
- Webinar: Food Hubs: What are They? Why do They Matter to the Northeast?
December 12, 2012
Farm Credit East, ACA, will host a webinar at 11 a.m. on Monday, December 17, 2012. It will provide an educational overview on food hubs and how they may be important to Northeast agriculture.
- Local Food MarketSizer™ by New Venture Advisors
December 7, 2012
Check out this new virtual tool to calculate the potential of the market in any state, metropolitan area or county for meat, dairy, poultry & eggs and fruits & vegetables.
- Real Food Calculator
December 6, 2012
Calculate the percentage of "real food" that your institution purchases. 31 colleges and universities have successfully used the Real Food Calculator, and another 20 are working on Real Food Calculator Assessments.
- Public Meetings to Plan the Wabash Valley Food Hub
December 4, 2012
The Wabash Valley Food Hub is in the planning stages. Four meetings in four different counties are scheduled in December to discuss the future of this food hub.
- $200k For Food Hub
November 30, 2012
The Traverse City Food Hub should be up and running in September of 2013 thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.
- Food Hub on the Table
November 26, 2012
The building that once was the Cheshire County Jail in New Hampshire could be transformed into a much needed regional food hub.
- Farmers Market Promotion Program Supports Food Hubs
October 2, 2012
We've compiled a list of all of the FMPP grants across the country that support food hubs, mobile markets and other similar projects.
- Local Food Hub is Hiring
September 17, 2012
Local Food Hub in Charlottesville,Virginia is seeking an Executive Director to lead and grow the organization. Click on the link above for the job description.
- Eastern Carolina Organics is Growing
September 13, 2012
The organic produce company is moving to a larger facility in Durham to be called the ECO Hub.
- Why Local Food Belongs on Grocery Shelves
September 7, 2012
"The 'food hub' model is gaining traction nationwide," according to USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan, in this Atlantic article.
- 'Food Hubs' Connect School Districts with Farmers
September 3, 2012
More coverage on how food hubs bring fresh food to schools in California and across the country.
- Relay Foods Raises $1.2M to Scale Local Online Grocery
August 30, 2012
Virginia-based Relay Foods has acquired Arganica Farm Club and announcedplans to expand in the Mid-Atlantic region.
- Don't Box Me In: The Unstoppable Growth of CSA-Style Box Delivery
August 27, 2012
This Grist article weighs the merits of traditional CSA boxes against the benefits of other produce delivery options popping up in the burgeoning local food marketplace.
- Local Food Hub Seeks Executive Director
Local Food Hub, based in Charlottesville, VA is looking for an executive director. Learn more about this innovative hub, and read the full job posting.
- USDA Value-Added Producer Grant Applications Due Oct. 15
August 16, 2012
Notice of Funding Availability: USDA Rural Development is offering planning grants up to $100,000 and working capital grants up to $300,000, through the Value-Added Producer Grant Program. Apply by October 15.
- Interview with VT Mad River Food Hub's Manager
August 19, 2012
Robin Morris, founder of Vermont's Mad River Food Hub, provides his perspective on running a food hub business. For a peek at another Vermont food hub, read about this blogger's tour of the Intervale.
- Food Hubs Play Critical Role in the Future of Local Food
August 13, 2012
This USDA blog post discusses how food hubs serve as "farmers markets for businesses," and develop stronger local and regional food supply chains by overcoming the infrastructure challenges faced by small and mid-sized producers.
- Montana Considers Regional Food Hub Network
August 13, 2012
Montana is exploring the benefits of a regional food hub, and this pageprovides some useful links to resources on hub development.
- Food Hub Summit: It Takes A Village
August 10, 2012
Grasshoppers Distribution in Louisville, KY, with assistance from the Wallace Center, hosted a visit from other food hubs around the country.
- Healthy Food Commerce Initiative Invests in CT Food Hub
August 5, 2012
Through its Healthy Food Commerce Initiative, funded by USDA/EDA, Wholesome Wave is partnering with FRESH New London in Connecticut. HFCI was also featured recently in Forbes: Meet the Guys Who Make Local Food Affordable.
- SAREP Releases New Food Hub Research and Resources
August 3, 2012
New research from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) at UC Davis provides valuable information for food hubs and farmers. Read more on the UC Food Blog or the NGFN Food Hub Knowledge Database.
- Local Food Hub in VA Offers Farm Worker Training to Refugees
July 23, 2012
The Local Food Hub and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) are giving three men from Bhutan a chance to put their farming skills to good use in the Farm Worker Training program.
- Joint Investment Helps KY Food Hub Expand Service to Schools
July 11, 2012
Through an innovative financing initiative, Wholesome Wave, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and local investors have teamed up to bring local fresh food to tens of thousands of high-need public school students through a Louisville-based food hub, Grasshoppers Distribution.
- Center for Regional Food Systems Receives Food Hub Grant
July 5, 2012
The Kresge Foundation awarded a $450,000 grant to Michigan State University's Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) to develop and lead a food hub network in Michigan over the next three years.
- Local and Regional Food Hubs Boost Rural Economies
June 14, 2012
The May 2012 issue of Rural Connections focuses on food hubs and features articles by two Food Hub Collaboration core team members.
- Merrigan's Food Hub Challenge
June 13, 2012
USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan makes the case for food hub development in this May 2012 Rural Connections article.
- Spring 2012 Food Hub Conference Proceedings Online
June 7, 2012
Disappointed you missed the Food Hub Collaboration's Spring 2012 Conference? Highlights and audio proceedings are now available online.
- Real Food - Real Local - Real Good Institute, July 10-12
June 7, 2012
Meet and learn from people all along the food value chain of Appalachia Ohio, July 10-12, in Athens, OH. Register here.
- Making the Right Connections with Local Food
May 15, 2012
USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan and Illinois Lieutenant Governor Simon weigh in about the importance of food hubs in this editorial.
- USDA Farm to School Grants Deadline May 18
May 7, 2012
USDA Food and Nutrition Service anticipates awarding $3.5 million in grant funding to support local food access in eligible schools. Submit a letter of intent by May 18.
- Food Systems Summit, June 2012
May 7, 2012
The University of Vermont will host its first-ever Food Systems Summit, titled "Leading the Necessary (r)Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems," June 18-29, 2012. Apply here by May 21.
- USDA Expands Food Hub Outreach with Website
May 3, 2012
More coverage of the Spring 2012 Conference and release of the Regional Food Hub Resource Guide from AgriNews Online.
- Great Lakes Food Hub Network
April 30, 2012
The Great Lakes Food Hub Network (GLFHN) is a trust-based collaboration of food hub practitioners focused on delivering the full value of local foods to markets in ways that build community wealth.
- USDA Introduces the Regional Food Hub Guide: An Innovative Tool for Growing Local Food Systems
April 20, 2012
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announces the publication of the Regional Food Hub Resource Guide at the NGFN Food Hub Collaboration's Spring 2012 Conference in Chicago. The event attracted coverage on The Packer, Western Farm Press, Brownfield Ag News, and many other press outlets.
- NGFN Food Hub Collaboration's Spring 2012 Conference
April 20, 2012
The NGFN Food Hub Collaboration's Spring 2012 Conference, April 19-20 in Chicago, brought food hubs and supporters from around the country to network, connect with technical assistance providers, and shape the direction of the Community of Practice. Read the agenda here.
- New Space Helps D.C. Central Kitchen Step Up its Local Food Hub Operations
July 19, 2011
D.C. Central Kitchen, a non-profit which uses donated food to deliver meals to area homeless shelters and social service agencies and runs a profitable catering business providing training and jobs to ex-offenders and former drug addicts, opens a new commercial kitchen to process food from local producers to supply schools and restaurants in the district.
- USDA Supports Local Food Hubs Nationwide
July 15, 2011
The Packer discusses the USDA's new Food Hub Webpage and how food hubs help local growers access larger markets.
- USDA NEWS: USDA Launches Online Resource to Help Producers Get Products to Market, Bolster Local and Regional Economies
July 12, 2011
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) launches a Food Hub Web Page for producers, buyers and others to access a central clearinghouse of resources, news and information related to food hubs and other enterprises that provide infrastructure support for small and mid-size producers. Check out the related USDA Blog Post and Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Post
- 5 Videos That Will Change How You Think About Food: Part One
July 6, 2011
Michael Conrad, Assistant Director of Urban Design Lab, talks about how to make the country healthier by creating regional food hubs in his TEDx Manhattan talk, "Rebuilding Our Food System Infrastructure."
- Vermont Program Awards $88,520 to Ag-Related Businesses
July 1, 2011
The St. Louis Food Hub, a proposed 35,000 square foot facility focusing on distribution, processing and aggregation services for local producers to reach area schools, hospitals and day-care centers, as well as a retail and mobile market, hopes to open by end of 2012.
- Vermont Program Awards $88,520 to Ag-Related Businesses
June 23, 2011
The Vermont State Government announced $88,520 in grant funding for the Vermont Farm Viability Program funding capital improvements for local food entrepreneurs that process, market, store or distribute Vermont farm products including food hubs and a local butchery.
- Rural Commercial Kitchens Form Local Food Network
June 22, 2011
Rural Development Directors in four Midwestern states have proposed regional community kitchen clusters to process locally grown food and serve as a base for which a larger network of kitchens could build upon.
- Local Foods Distribution Center in the Works in Dane County
June 17, 2011
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds study for and potential development of a local food processing and storage site in Wisconsin.
Fresh Moves Mobile Grocery Store An Innovative Solution To Food Deser
June 16, 2011
A new mobile grocery store in Chicago works with a local food hub, Goodness Greeness, an organic food supplier to bring fresh groceries into communities that lack access to grocery stores.
- USDA NEWS: USDA Targets Food Deserts in Funding for Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants
June 3, 2011
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announces available funding for the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's Farmer's Market Nutrition Program saying, "These grants will put resources into rural and urban economies to create and support direct marketing opportunities for farmers" said Merrigan. "Consumer and farmer enthusiasm for direct marketing has never been greater. This year we will place emphasis on food deserts because America's low income and underserved communities need greater access to healthy, fresh food."
USDA NEWS: Farmers Market Promotion Program: Expanding Food Access Through Direct Marketing
June 3, 2011
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announces this year's Farmers Market Promotion Program, providing $10 million in grant funds to expand direct marketing opportunities and help eliminate food desserts and increase food access in low-income communities.
- Philadelphia's Common Market Wins $1.1 million grant
June 3, 2011
The Common Market, a non-profit food distribution business in Philadelphia, receives grant funding from the Kellogg Foundation allowing them to purchase additional equipment and renovate their space to prepare for changes in federal food safety regulations.
- Regional Food Hubs Poised to Become Burgeoning Trend
The American Farm Bureau Federation's latest issue of Foodie News features food hubs.
- Meyer Memorial Trust RFP: Community Food Systems Planning and Implementation Grants
Planning Grant Proposals due July 1, 2011
MMT is seeking proposals from nonprofit organizations in Oregon and Clark County, WA, working on community and/or regional food system projects.
- An Increasingly More Common Market: North Philly Group Sets Bar High for Local Food Distribution
May 24, 2011
Common Market Philadelphia helps get local food to institutional customers.
- San Diego Regional Food Hub Cultivates Local Markets
May 10, 2011
San Diego food producers are establishing a Regional Food Hub, the San Diego Growers, as a way to help overcome local production and distribution gaps.
- Local Food Movement Gets Trucking
May 10, 2011
Local food distributors help fill the missing link in the local food movement in Montana by providing producers with distribution and marketing of their products.
- Food Hub Bid to Boost Wyre Forest Producers
May 6, 2011
The Grow with Wyre Landscape Partnership Project is beginning a food hub to support local producers as they develop sustainable enterprises and to boost their rural economy.
- Food Hubs a Potential Boon to Local Growers
May 5, 2011
The Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru report discusses the USDA and the Food Hub Collaboration’s analysis of food hubs seeing it as positive news for farmers and consumers.
- New Partnership Brings Local Food Distribution to Southeastern Massachusetts
April 27, 2011
The Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) and Food Ex, will partner to bring local food distribution to southeastern Massachusetts. FoodEx, operated by Organic Renaissance will open a food hub in New Bedford this summer while SEMAP will introduce farmers to the service and provide technical assistance to farmers to transition to selling wholesale.
- USDA NEWS: USDA
Identifies Infrastructure and Economic Opportunities for Regional
Producers: Food Hubs Emerging as Viable Business Model Supporting
Regional Food Systems
April 19, 2011
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan releases the results of a nationwide analysis of food hubs stating that, “This new data clearly demonstrates that small and midsize farmers can work with a variety of players to overcome the infrastructure challenges they face, while creating effective economic opportunities for their communities at the same time."
- USDA NEWS: Food Hubs: Creating Opportunities for Producers Across the Nation
April 19, 2011
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan says, “food hubs are not a flash in the pan. They are incredibly innovative business models specifically addressing some of our producers’ most overwhelming challenges.”
- Local Grain Key to Economic Health, Says Corporation
April 4, 2011
Skowhegan, Maine has plans for a new food hub which will include the restoration of grain production in central Maine with plans for a 14,000 square foot grist mill and space for baking and selling bread as well as local fruits, vegetable, meats and cheeses.
- Food Hubs—Localizing Food Systems?
March 28, 2011
The Institute for Food and Development Policy shows how food hubs are changing our food systems through localization.
- Forget the Gloom-New Ways of Living and Organizing Out Economy Are Flourishing
March 17, 2011
Tom Philpott shows ways that communities are creating infrastructure to support mid-size farmers.
- Regional Food Hubs Face a Growing Need for Technology
March 8, 2011
Many food hubs lack the technology necessary to manage their operations at a large scale; however, many new technology solutions are arising to solve this problem. This article discusses some of the more promising ones.
- Are Food Hubs the Next Best Thing?
January 19, 2011
GoodFood World introduces a new food hub starting in Everett, Washington and discusses what sets food hubs apart from traditional wholesalers.
- USDA NEWS Detroit’s Eastern Market: A Food Hub in a Food Desert
December 17, 2010
Eastern Market’s food hub helps coordinate aggregation and distribution for Michigan’s small and mid-size farmers and with a cooperative agreement with the USDA, they will work towards expanding the availability for this food throughout Detroit, a city that that is a food desert.
- USDA NEWS Oklahoma Food Co-Op: From Buying Club to Food Hub
December 16, 2010
The Oklahoma Food Co-Op, a member cooperative with an internet ordering program with a distribution system of trucks, drop off locations, warehouse space, and plenty of volunteers, helps bring products from local small ranches and farms to consumers across Oklahoma.
- USDA NEWS Local Food Hub Brings It All Together
December 15, 2010
Local Food Hub, a non-profit organization in Charlottesville, Virginia, raised enough money to purchase the necessary infrastructure as well as liability insurance to purchase over $340,000 worth of product from 50 farms bringing a consistent supply of local farm products to over 95 buyers in Charlottesville.
- Map Shows Local Food Hub Scaling Up in SE Minnesota
December 15, 2010
USDA coordinated food hub map shows concentration of food hubs between Southeast Minnesota and the Iowa-Wisconsin border as the geology of the land is conducive to small fruits and vegetable farms. Follow up piece with Jim Barham asking for food chain champions found here.
- Restaurateur’s Vision: a Hub for Sustainable Food
December 14, 2010
The Washington Post article introduces a new non-profit and food hub being established in the Washington DC Area, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture.
- USDA NEWS Getting to Scale with Regional Food Hubs
December 14, 2010
Jim Barham explains how food hubs might be one answer to help small and mid-size producers meet the challenges of obtaining the necessary capital investments and infrastructure to develop regional food systems.