Regional food hubs help meet consumer demand for local food by aggregating products from local farmers. The next step: expanding the supply chain to national retailers.
The Wallace Center is also reaching out to organizations like the Food Marketing Institute. FMI is a national trade group representing nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies.
Mark Baum, FMI’s senior vice president and chief collaboration officer, says:
“The retail industry recognizes the broad consumer shift towards fresher foods. We also know that meeting this demand means addressing the challenge of how to pull consistent volumes of safe, locally sourced products through the supply chain. FMI looks forward to exploring how regional food hubs can help our members implement economically viable solutions.”
Next week, America’s food hub community gathers in Raleigh, North Carolina, for the National Good Food Network (NGFN) conference. NGFN is a peer-to-peer network of regional food systems practitioners, supporters, and food hub developers across the country that the Wallace Center launched in 2008. Investors, buyers, food hubs, and more will be there to learn, connect, and grow.
Later this year, NGFN will release a financial benchmarking study of member food hubs with Farm Credit System, a national cooperative of agricultural lenders. The study’s development of sound economic metrics and measures will be another forward step in market-based approaches to a more sustainable food and farm sector.
These efforts are important because food hubs are emerging as linchpins of regional food system infrastructure. Growing their market share is essential. Equally important is ensuring the market’s understanding and adoption of “good food” values embedded in demand for local.
The Wallace Center and National Good Food Network are bringing together the entrepreneurs, researchers, and partners needed to succeed. We invite you to join us in growing the business of good food. Share Solving Local with your networks, and learn more at foodhub.info.
The National Good Food Network Food Hub Collaboration’s National Food Hub Conference will be March 26-28 in Raleigh, NC.What is a food hub?
A regional food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.
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