> Food Hub Benchmarking Report 2019

The food hub benchmarking report illustrates ‘how’ food hubs are managing their businesses, and highlights the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that food hub owners, managers, and operators can use to manage their business and increase their profitability.

This report is not intended to be a ‘state of the food hub sector’ report, as it encompasses only 50 food hubs that were in operation in 2017, which is just a small cross-section of the sector. It’s not intended to be a description of ‘what’ food hubs are doing, as there have been many good studies covering this ground (for example, the MSU/Wallace Center Food Hub Survey). However, it can serve as a valuable resource for food hubs to better understand how they can improve the function of their businesses.

Any business, even mission-driven organizations, can’t be sustainable without sound financial management. A well-run food hub is a sustainable business in more ways than one: not only does it cover expenses and meet debt obligations, it reinvests in growth, evolution, and mission impact. A better understanding of food hub KPIs gives owners and managers the ability to plan, to set goals, and to achieve their mission.

Read the full report “Financial Management for Food Hub Success - One KPI At A Time

> Findings of the 2017 National Food Hub Survey

Michigan State University's Center for Regional Food Systems once again partnered with Wallace Center at Winrock International to produce the 2017 National Food Hub Survey, and its report the Findings.

Made apparent in the related executive summary, there are six core concepts that emerge from the survey responses. It is clear that FOOD HUBS...

  • Are becoming an established sector
  • Contribute to the economy
  • Support farmers
  • Support the "triple bottom line"
  • Capacity to meet food safety certification demands is increasing
  • Still face viability challenges

Kate Danaher, Senior Director, Social Enterprise Lending & Integrated Capital at RSF Social Finance expresses the value of the study: "The National Food Hub Survey data is absolutely critical both for food hub operators and for those of us interested in investing in a new food paradigm. At RSF Social Finance, we use the data to help underwrite our investments and to provide practical business support services to our clients."


> Food Value Chains: Creating Shared Value to Enhance Marketing Success

Food value chains are business arrangements distinguished by their commitment to transparency, collaborative business planning and exchange of market intelligence and business know how among chain partners, and their interest in developing business strategies and solutions that yield tangible benefits to each participant in the system. The Wallace Center, in collaboration with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, and American University has released a new resource, Food Value Chains: Creating Shared Value to Enhance Marketing Success. This document is designed to provide guidance on how food value chains are initiated and structured, how they function, and the benefits they provide to participants, with the intent of encouraging their adoption where the opportunities for successful collaboration exist.

Authors: Adam Diamond, Debra Tropp, James Barham, Michelle Frain Muldoon, Stacia Kiraly, and Patty Cantrell

 Download the full report. 



> NGFN Webinar: Financial Benchmark Metrics and Measurements for Regional Food Hubs

Food Hubs strengthen regional food systems by supplying local foods to schools, hospitals, restaurants and other institutions, as well as directly to consumers.  Their aggregation, sales, and distribution activity increases farm-gate demand for local foods, creating new markets for small producers.

But are food hubs economically sustainable?  Can food hubs do well by doing good?

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