This report presents five case studies that show how small-farm aggregators and food retailers and distributors are teaming up to bring local food into larger-scale wholesale channels. Known as regional food hubs, the small-farm aggregators are helping industry partners meet growing consumer demand for food that comes with local economic, environmental, and social benefits.
The report’s target audience is executives at companies trying to navigate the tricky territory between smaller farms and larger markets. The key finding is that food hub partnerships enable industry innovators to pull safe and reliable quantities of small-volume product through large-volume wholesale channels. Hubs also help define “local” by building market bridges between community-based interests and larger commercial outlets.
The report encourages retailers and food service companies to get acquainted with hubs in their territories as a first step to developing local food sourcing programs."Food hubs are proving to be a needed intermediary in the supply chain,” Wallace Center executive director John Fisk says. “Hubs are the scaling up strategy for local food."