Food Hubs : Buzz Phrase or Key Resource for Thriving Food and Farm Systems?
By Chhaya Kolavalli
As the demand for local foods rises, so does the need for efficient systems of getting farm products to interested buyers and consumers. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a “regional food hub” as, “… a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products, primarily from local and regional producers, to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.”
Food hubs typically move large volumes of product, facilitating connections between local producers and larger markets. Farmers who market to food hubs often spend significantly less time marketing, freeing up more labor hours to produce larger volumes of farm products. As with any wholesale market, distributors will expect to buy at wholesale prices; however, increased sales volumes help farmers compensate for decreased revenue per unit.
If you are interested in either selling to or starting a regional food hub, we’ve got a resource for you! CLICK HERE to print or download the Kansas Rural Center’s marketing strategies document Operating or Selling to Food Hubs. This resource document discusses some of the many benefits and challenges of operating or selling to food hubs, shares examples of various food hub models, and offers strategies for success, for both food producers and distributors.
Marketing Strategies: Operating or Selling to Food Hubs is an excerpt from Finding Your Niche, A Marketing Guide for Kansas Farms, published in January 2013 by the Kansas Rural Center. You may CLICK HERE to view the guide’s full Table of Contents and print or download other resource documents. Finding Your Niche: A Marketing Guide for Kansas Farms offers a great starting point for envisioning the potential your farm has to increase and respond to local demand.
To receive a printed and bound copy of the 200+ page guide, please order here or contact the Kansas Rural Center at 785-873-3431. A limited number of copies are available for a suggested fee of $25 to help cover printing, shipping and handling costs.