> Save the Date! 2020 National Good Food Network Conference


The Wallace Center is excited to announce that we’ll be hosting our 2020 National Good Food Network Conference in New Orleans, March 10-13, 2020.

Learn more on the conference page!

Since 2012, the Wallace Center has been convening leaders from across the good food movement for a comprehensive, practitioner-driven conference to share inspirational ideas, build professional connections, and learn practical skills and innovative approaches for creating resilient and inclusive food systems.

At the 2020 NGFN Conference we are looking to take food systems change and movement building to the next level.

We will take stock of our progress as a movement and look ahead to the future as we seek to break down silos and build collaborative systems-level solutions to answer some of the greatest challenges of our time. Leaders from across the country will gather in New Orleans, LA to recognize and consider the successes and challenges, critically and honestly evaluate current efforts and roadblocks, assess where different approaches need to be taken, and discuss emerging opportunities and challenges we need to prepare for.

Together, we will reflect on where we have been, appreciate gains and impacts, and chart the course for the next ten years of a more healthy, equitable and resilient food system.

With a renewed focus on equity and community development, the 2020 NGFN Conference will expand on the success of previous Conferences and continue to build the capacity of food systems leaders and organizations and inspire innovation through engaging presentations, trainings, networking, and peer-learning opportunities.

We are excited to be partnering with New Orleans-based non-profit Propeller to explore, highlight, and connect with the rich and dynamic food culture of the region throughout the 2020 Conference.

Learn more on the conference page!

> 2018 Food Hub Benchmark Study Now Accepting Participants

To participate in the 2018 Food Hub Benchmarking Study go to:
Preview the Food Hub Benchmark Questionnaire (pdf)

Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.” That’s the idea behind the Food Hub Benchmark Study: to better understand where the sector is headed, and to help individual hub operators understand how to get on and (stay on) the path to long-term financial success. A benchmark study collects financial and operational information from businesses in the same industry or sector. This information is analyzed to determine validity and comparability, standardized, and then aggregated to show a range of performance indicators. The resulting benchmarks not only provide insight into the sector, but also provide a decision-making tool for individual business managers.

Over time, RSF Social Finance expects this benchmark study to act like a compass—a true north of sorts—revealing the operational trends that will validate an organization’s business model and path to self-sufficiency. For funders, these trends will inform how we choose to support and capitalize this movement.
— Kate Danaher, RSF Social Finance

Large companies develop or access benchmarks by hiring consulting firms to conduct research on their competitors. In the food hub sector, we proactively share this data to help each other grow and build stronger, more sustainable food systems.

In 2014, Wallace Center partnered with Farm Credit and Morse Marketing to analyze data from 48 food hubs and publish Counting Values: 2014 Food Hub Benchmarking Study. This Spring, we will again begin collecting data for the largest study to date. With your help, we can reach our goal of benchmarking 75 food hubs nationwide and producing the best set of performance indicators the sector has ever had.

How to participate in the 2018 study:

  1. Review Wallace Center’s free Financial Fundamentals for Food Hubs webinar series, in which Farm Credit representatives will demonstrate how to set up and manage your key financial reports. These short webinars are a great way to ensure that your books are in order and that you’re ready to participate in the 2018 study.
  2. Participate in the study! You’ll complete a brief survey and submit a set of common financial reports for analysis. This process is completely confidential (even the Wallace Center never sees any individual data) and protected by Farm Credit’s bank-level security.
  3. To thank you for your participation, your company will receive an individualized benchmark report, comparing your individual hub performance to the sector. You’ll also receive technical assistance on how to use the findings of the study as a decision-making and goal-setting tool. And if that wasn’t enough, this year each hub participating in the study is automatically entered to win – what’s on every Food Hub manager’s Wishlist… a Coolbot! Two winners will be selected from the 2018 participants.

  4. Once the study is completed, tune in for a National Good Food Network webinar on the findings of the study in July 2018.

  5. Pick up a free copy of the full 2018 Benchmark Study report, available in August 2018.

To participate in the 2018 Food Hub Benchmarking Study go to:

Preview the Food Hub Benchmark Questionnaire (pdf)