“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