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Food Hub Lessons:
Early Decisions
Jim Barham – USDA Rural Development, DC
Sara Clow – GrowFood Carolina, SC
Leslie Hossfel...
Presentation Overview
Food Hubs:
 Clarifying the Food Hub Concept
 Early Decisions, Lessons Learned, Best Practices
 Sa...
Local/Regional Food Systems
Food Hubs
Aggregating Distributing Marketing Local Food
Regional Food Hubs
 Actively linking producers to markets
 On-farm pick up
 Production and post-harvest handling
traini...
*Based on a working list of 302 food hubs identified by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (April 2014)
Regional Fo...
7 12
26
44
53 55 58 63
75 87
101
119
153
184
215
256
286
298
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
220
240
260
280
300
Gro...
Regional Food Hubs by Legal Status*
Food Hub Legal Status Number Percentage
Privately Held 144 48%
Nonprofit 87 29%
Cooper...
Regional Food Hub Models*
Farm to
Consumer
39%
Farm to
Business
29%
Hybrid
32%
*Based on a working list of 302 food hubs i...
GrowFood Carolina’s mission is to help the local food system reach its full
potential by providing meaningful opportunitie...
GrowFood Carolina (GFC) is:
A non profit, all local, wholesale produce distributor.
We provide:
• Crop planning
• Post har...
GUIDING PRINCIPLES
1.Farmers. Farmers. Farmers.
2.Consistency
3.Collaboration
SET GOALS
RECOGNIZE
CHALLENGES
CREATE
SOLUTI...
EXPANDING THE MODEL
Feast Down East is a BUY LOCAL economic
development, poverty alleviation project, devoted to
supporting our local farmers ...
HOW WE BEGAN – SECTOR ANALYSIS
Growth sectors of health and education;
- Emerging sectors of
entrepreneurship/small busine...
Core 9-County Region
• New Hanover
• Brunswick
• Pender
• Columbus
• Robeson
• Bladen
• Onslow
• Duplin
• Sampson
- Most e...
OUR PRIMARY GOAL is to
Create a
Fully Integrated
Local Food System
.
FULLY INTEGRATED
FOOD SYSTEM -
Feast Down East
PRIORITY INITIATIVES
BUY LOCAL
Campaign
Farmer Support
Farm to School and
F...
www.feastdowneast.org
USDA Designated
“Food Hub”
FARMERS
DIRECT SALES
FARMERS
MARKETS &
CSAs
CONSUMERS
RESTAURANTS
SCHOOLS/
UNIVERSITIES
FEAST DOWN
EAST P&D
HOSPITALS/
ASS...
Farm to Chef
Farm to Chef Directory
Farm to Chef Partnership
Meetings
Over 40 Participating
Restaurants
26 Premier Restaur...
Farm to Institution
UNCW - Aramark
Hospitals
Assisted Living Facilities
 Whole Foods - Retail
 Lowes Foods - Retail
The
...
Farm to School
• Teaching Nutrition, Gardening & Local
Agriculture in the Classroom
• Building School Gardens
• Increasing...
Healthy Communities Program
Addresses the lack of healthy food in
our underserved communities –
“Food Deserts”
Local and State-wide Partners in
the Local Food Movement
Local Food Means Economic Development
Multiplier Effect - The information in this table is based on 73 workers directly
em...
FOOD POLICY
COUNCILS
Food Policy Councils examine how the local food
system operates, and provide policy
recommendations t...
SAVE THE DATE!
February 6th
Feast Down East 5th Annual Regional Conference
Burney Center
University of North Carolina Wilm...
Food Hub Best Practices
– NINE Keys to Successful Marketing for Food Hubs –
 Don’t sell commodities
– Product differentia...
 Think farmers first
– Ensure good prices for producers and find ways to build their capacity to grow and be
successful. ...
OPEN DISCUSSION
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS?
Moving Food Along the Value Chain:
Innovations in Regional Food Distribution
By Adam Diamond & James Barham – USDA Agricul...
 Food Value Chains: Creating
Shared Value to Enhance
Marketing Success – joint project
between USDA and the Wallace Cente...
USDA’s Food Hub Portal
www.ams.usda.gov/FoodHubs
A catalogue of USDA's research findings, resources,
and support for food ...
www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer
 Website: One-stop shop for financial
and technical assistance resources from
USDA to grow yo...
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food:
- Resources for Navigating USDA -
www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer
 Farm Microloans
 Farm Storage Loans
 Organic Cost Share
 Grass-fed Verification
 Environmental Quality
Incentives Pr...
Includes data on:
 USDA-funded local food projects
 Farmers markets, food hubs,
and other “context data”
gathered by USD...
Explore Options, Partnerships,
and Opportunities
Find Resources to Fit the Need
www.usda.gov/kyfcompass
Jim Barham
USDA Rural Development
Washington, D.C.
202-690-1411
James.Barham@wdc.usda.gov
www.usda.gov/kyfcompass
www.usda...
Southern SAWG - Food Hub Lessons: Early Decisions
Southern SAWG - Food Hub Lessons: Early Decisions
Southern SAWG - Food Hub Lessons: Early Decisions
Southern SAWG - Food Hub Lessons: Early Decisions
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Southern SAWG - Food Hub Lessons: Early Decisions

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Presentation given at the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) Conference in Mobile AL - Jan 2015. Covers food hub definition, national trends, lessons learned and best practices from food hub managers, and USDA resources to support food hub growth and development

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Southern SAWG - Food Hub Lessons: Early Decisions

  1. 1. Food Hub Lessons: Early Decisions Jim Barham – USDA Rural Development, DC Sara Clow – GrowFood Carolina, SC Leslie Hossfeld – Feast Down East, NC Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference Mobile, AL January 17, 2015
  2. 2. Presentation Overview Food Hubs:  Clarifying the Food Hub Concept  Early Decisions, Lessons Learned, Best Practices  Sara Clow – GrowFood Carolina, SC  Leslie Hossfeld – Feast Down East, NC  Additional Reflections  Resources to Support Food Hubs  Open Discussion
  3. 3. Local/Regional Food Systems Food Hubs Aggregating Distributing Marketing Local Food
  4. 4. Regional Food Hubs  Actively linking producers to markets  On-farm pick up  Production and post-harvest handling training  Business management services and guidance  Value-added product development  Food safety and GAP training  Liability insurance  Aggregation  Distribution  Brokering  Branding and market development  Packaging and repacking  Light processing (trimming, cutting, freezing)  Product Storage  “Buy Local” campaigns  Distributing to “food deserts”  Food bank donations  Health screenings, cooking demonstrations  SNAP redemptions  Educational programs  Youth and community employment opportunities
  5. 5. *Based on a working list of 302 food hubs identified by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (April 2014) Regional Food Hubs
  6. 6. 7 12 26 44 53 55 58 63 75 87 101 119 153 184 215 256 286 298 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300 Growth in the Number of Food Hubs (2001-2013)* At least 145 food hubs have started in the past five years (2009-2013), as well as at least 83 in the past three years (2011-2013) *Based on a working list of 302 food hubs identified by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (April 2014)
  7. 7. Regional Food Hubs by Legal Status* Food Hub Legal Status Number Percentage Privately Held 144 48% Nonprofit 87 29% Cooperative 61 20% Publicly Held 7 2% Informal 3 1% *Based on a working list of 302 food hubs identified by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (April 2014)
  8. 8. Regional Food Hub Models* Farm to Consumer 39% Farm to Business 29% Hybrid 32% *Based on a working list of 302 food hubs identified by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (April 2014)
  9. 9. GrowFood Carolina’s mission is to help the local food system reach its full potential by providing meaningful opportunities to farmers which will strengthen and secure the future of a regional food supply and ensure an enduring productive and diverse landscape. WHY (and how) does a conservation organization start a food hub??
  10. 10. GrowFood Carolina (GFC) is: A non profit, all local, wholesale produce distributor. We provide: • Crop planning • Post harvest education • Warehousing • Sales & Marketing • Distribution • Vendor Compliance
  11. 11. GUIDING PRINCIPLES 1.Farmers. Farmers. Farmers. 2.Consistency 3.Collaboration SET GOALS RECOGNIZE CHALLENGES CREATE SOLUTIONS ANALYZE RESULTS REPEAT
  12. 12. EXPANDING THE MODEL
  13. 13. Feast Down East is a BUY LOCAL economic development, poverty alleviation project, devoted to supporting our local farmers through local food purchasing in our region. Our focus is on helping small to mid-sized limited- resource farmers build and sustain their farm businesses, connecting them with local food businesses and educating consumers on the importance of BUYING LOCAL!
  14. 14. HOW WE BEGAN – SECTOR ANALYSIS Growth sectors of health and education; - Emerging sectors of entrepreneurship/small business and recreation/tourism; - Challenged sectors of agriculture/forestry and manufacturing
  15. 15. Core 9-County Region • New Hanover • Brunswick • Pender • Columbus • Robeson • Bladen • Onslow • Duplin • Sampson - Most ethnically diverse region in rural America - One of three regions of persistent poverty in NC - Lost more farms than any other state in the US - Average age of farmers is 57 Southeastern North Carolina
  16. 16. OUR PRIMARY GOAL is to Create a Fully Integrated Local Food System .
  17. 17. FULLY INTEGRATED FOOD SYSTEM - Feast Down East PRIORITY INITIATIVES BUY LOCAL Campaign Farmer Support Farm to School and Farm to InstitutionFDE FOOD HUB Processing & Distribution Healthy Communities Program Farm to Chef Statewide Local Food Movement
  18. 18. www.feastdowneast.org
  19. 19. USDA Designated “Food Hub”
  20. 20. FARMERS DIRECT SALES FARMERS MARKETS & CSAs CONSUMERS RESTAURANTS SCHOOLS/ UNIVERSITIES FEAST DOWN EAST P&D HOSPITALS/ ASST. LIVING GROCERS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE MARKETING Farmer Support
  21. 21. Farm to Chef Farm to Chef Directory Farm to Chef Partnership Meetings Over 40 Participating Restaurants 26 Premier Restaurants
  22. 22. Farm to Institution UNCW - Aramark Hospitals Assisted Living Facilities  Whole Foods - Retail  Lowes Foods - Retail The Green Spot
  23. 23. Farm to School • Teaching Nutrition, Gardening & Local Agriculture in the Classroom • Building School Gardens • Increasing Fresh Fruits & Vegetables in the Cafeteria • Public Housing Neighborhoods After-School Garden Program
  24. 24. Healthy Communities Program Addresses the lack of healthy food in our underserved communities – “Food Deserts”
  25. 25. Local and State-wide Partners in the Local Food Movement
  26. 26. Local Food Means Economic Development Multiplier Effect - The information in this table is based on 73 workers directly employed in farm and food-related jobs in 7 counties (Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Pender, Robeson and Sampson). All figures 1Q2013. Type of Impact Impact Output $22.6 million Employment (a) 180 Labor Income (b) $6.2 million State/Local Government Taxes $1.2 million Federal Taxes $1.2 million (a) Fulltime and Part time Employment (b) Wages and salaries and self- employment income Prepared by: Dr. William Hall UNCW Senior Economist
  27. 27. FOOD POLICY COUNCILS Food Policy Councils examine how the local food system operates, and provide policy recommendations to improve that system. Food Policy Councils identify and strengthen the connections between food, health, natural resource protection, economic development and the agricultural/food production community.
  28. 28. SAVE THE DATE! February 6th Feast Down East 5th Annual Regional Conference Burney Center University of North Carolina Wilmington Wilmington, North Carolina
  29. 29. Food Hub Best Practices – NINE Keys to Successful Marketing for Food Hubs –  Don’t sell commodities – Product differentiation is key (unique product attributes, source identified, production practices, social equity), telling a compelling story, branding, chain transparency, certifications  Sweat the small stuff – To tell an authentic and compelling story, all staff need to know every detail of the production and handling practices of the product sold under the brand (even the truck drivers!)  Be there all year for your customers – Must sustain operations year round to cover costs and keep customer communication constant. Be pragmatic about your approach in terms of sourcing “locally”  Get buyer commitment – Be clear with buyers about volume order expectations and use a combination of specials, incentives, rewards, public recognition for “committed” buyers
  30. 30.  Think farmers first – Ensure good prices for producers and find ways to build their capacity to grow and be successful. What kind of relationship and interaction, individually, as group, co-op?  Make friends – Seek operational advantages by seeking partnerships with existing distribution infrastructure players, e.g., existing distributors, producer groups, trucking companies, food banks, etc.  Don’t buy what you don’t need – Infrastructure investment (e.g. warehouse, trucks, equipment) needs to match the hubs’ stage of development and marketing capacity.  Don’t poison your customers – Food safety needs to be an integral part of the whole operation, with food safety plans for producers, GAP/GHP, traceability/recall mechanisms in place.  Never forget “supply, supply, supply” – Without ensuring a consistent, reliable supply of quality products, you have no business running a food hub, and you will have no business! Food Hub Best Practices – NINE Keys to Successful Marketing for Food Hubs –
  31. 31. OPEN DISCUSSION QUESTIONS, COMMENTS?
  32. 32. Moving Food Along the Value Chain: Innovations in Regional Food Distribution By Adam Diamond & James Barham – USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Regional Food Hub Resource Guide Food hub impacts on regional food systems, and the resources available to support their growth and development By USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and the Wallace Center at Winrock International The Role of Food Hubs in Local Food Marketing By James Matson, Martha Sullins, and Chris Cook – funded by USDA Rural Development Food Hub and Distribution Resources Electronic copies of these publications can be downloaded for free at www.ams.usda.gov/FoodHubs
  33. 33.  Food Value Chains: Creating Shared Value to Enhance Marketing Success – joint project between USDA and the Wallace Center  The report is designed to provide guidance to the reader on how food value chains are initiated and structured, how they function, and the benefits they provide to participants. New Report on Food Value Chains http://dx.doi.org/10.9752/MS141.05-2014
  34. 34. USDA’s Food Hub Portal www.ams.usda.gov/FoodHubs A catalogue of USDA's research findings, resources, and support for food hubs Food Hub and Distribution Resources National Food Hub Collaboration http://foodhub.info Map and list of known food hubs, current news, webinars, conference proceedings, print resources Food Hub Benchmarking Webinar on Thursday!
  35. 35. www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer  Website: One-stop shop for financial and technical assistance resources from USDA to grow your local food enterprise www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer  The Compass: How USDA resources are put to work in your community www.usda.gov/kyfcompass  The Compass Map: See what’s funded in your community and learn how others are using USDA programs USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative
  36. 36. Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food: - Resources for Navigating USDA - www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer
  37. 37.  Farm Microloans  Farm Storage Loans  Organic Cost Share  Grass-fed Verification  Environmental Quality Incentives Program (hoop houses/high tunnels)  Rural Energy for America Program USDAProgramsintheLocalFoodSupplyChain  Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans  Community Facilities Loans and Grants  Rural Business Enterprise Grants  Rural Business Opportunity Grants  Value-Added Producer Grants  Local Food Promotion Program  Conservation Reserve Program  Agricultural Conservation Easement Program  Conservation Stewardship Program  Environmental Quality Incentives Program  Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans  Community Facilities Loans and Grants  Rural Business Enterprise Grants  Rural Business Opportunity Grants  Local Food Promotion Program  Specialty Crop Block Grants  Farm to School Grants  Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program  WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program  Community Food Projects Competitive Grants  Farmers Market Promotion Program  Specialty Crop Block Grants Land Conservation Processing www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer Aggregation/ Distribution Production Markets / Consumers  Rural Cooperative Development Grants  Small Business Innovation Research  Risk Management Education Program  Federal State Marketing Improvement Program  Conservation Technical Assistance  Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program  Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program  Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Research, Education, and Technical Assistance Programs – all along the supply chain
  38. 38. Includes data on:  USDA-funded local food projects  Farmers markets, food hubs, and other “context data” gathered by USDA agencies  Projects and resources from 9 other Federal Departments The KYF Compass Map www.usda.gov/kyfcompass
  39. 39. Explore Options, Partnerships, and Opportunities
  40. 40. Find Resources to Fit the Need www.usda.gov/kyfcompass
  41. 41. Jim Barham USDA Rural Development Washington, D.C. 202-690-1411 James.Barham@wdc.usda.gov www.usda.gov/kyfcompass www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer knowyourfarmer@usda.gov Thank You!

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