Guides to Running Food Hubs

USDA Guides to Running Food Hubs

“Here at USDA we are looking for ways that we can help build and strengthen regional and local food systems. As we talk to farmers, producers, consumers, processors, retailers, buyers and everyone else involved in regional food system development, we hear more and more about small and mid-sized farmers struggling to get their products to market quickly and efficiently. And more and more we hear that these same producers need access to things like trucks, warehouses, processing space, and storage. These things require capital investment, infrastructure maintenance and dedicated oversight – things that small and mid-sized producers often can’t afford or manage themselves.

One answer to help regional producers may be a ”food hub.”

Our working definition of a food hub is “a centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/regionally produced food products.” By actively coordinating these activities along the value chain, food hubs are providing wider access to institutional and retail markets for small to mid-sized producers, and increasing access of fresh healthy food for consumers, including underserved areas and food deserts.”

-Jim Barham, Food Hub Team Leader, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service in Food and Nutrition Farming, Feb 21, 2017

Value-Chain Coordination, Resources Collection

“Physical infrastructure like warehouses and trucks are essential to regional food economies. But they also require coordination – people and organizations who make fruitful connections between businesses and organizations in the supply chain; who pilot new ideas; who make the political and business ground fertile for success. Value Chain Coordination is the development of soft infrastructure, like relationships, networks and information-sharing channels, that creates thriving and sustainable regional food economies. Below you’ll find resources and tools to help you refine your skills as a connector in your regional food system. ”

Access the resources collection and discussion group here.

Fundamentals of Value Chain Coordination Course

“Value Chain Coordination (VCC) is essential to building resilient and equitable local and regional food systems. VCC practitioners are shifting power to create food systems that foster interdependence, transparency, and community agency. Though the work of value chain coordination has been taking place in some shape or form for centuries, efforts to understand and build the diverse skills, strategies, and impacts of VCC are relatively recent. The Wallace Center has created this course to help the people doing the work of value chain coordination gain language, skills, tools, frameworks, and relationships that will help support their work.”

Access the course here

Timely information, tips, and templates to build your market organization