Food hubs aren’t new to the local food industry, but they’re new to the business of agriculture and they’re providing opportunities for many Northeast farmers to enter larger marketplaces. Farm Credit East has recently released a short video on the opportunities food hubs create.
A food hub is a business that aggregates, distributes and markets local food. They fill a gap in the marketing chain from the farm perspective and provide consumers with healthy, local food that they may not normally have access to. This provides a connection between the farmer who grows the food and the end consumer.
Food hubs are beneficial to some Northeast farms because it allows them to access markets that they otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to reach. Through food hubs they’re able to sell more of their product for a better price, which contributes to the success of their business.
“It’s a great time to be involved in local food,” said Erin Pirro, Farm Credit East business consultant. “People want to know their farmers and where their food is coming from. New farmers are entering the industry at a scale we’ve never seen before and they need markets for their product. This connection is what will allow food hubs to thrive.”
Food hub customers range from individuals and families to wholesale and institutional channels, such as grocery stores, schools, hospitals and food processors. Restaurants are one of the biggest outlets for food hubs.