Food Hubs: Supply Chain Traceability to Enhance Rural Sustainability

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This PowerPoint presentation was given on Oct. 16, 2013 by James Matson at the Third International Conference on Food Studies in Austin, Texas. This presentation addresses the topic of how food hubs are emerging as a solution for local food marketing in the United States. they serve as a way to connect producers and buyers while maintaining traceability as a value proposition.

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Food Hubs: Supply Chain Traceability to Enhance Rural Sustainability

  1. 1. James Matson, Matson Consulting Jeremiah Thayer, Matson Consulting FOOD HUBS: SUPPLY CHAIN TRACEABILITY TO ENHANCE RURAL SUSTAINABILITY
  2. 2. WHY ARE THESE APPLES NOT THE SAME? Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  3. 3. ANSWER: A traditional commodity distribution channel vs. A developing local foods marketing channel Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  4. 4. TRACEABILITY “The transfer of information about a product from the producer or point of origin through all intermediaries in the transaction to the end consumer” (Thilmany 2008) Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  5. 5. TRACEABILITY The information maintained through…traceability efforts can contribute to higher pricing being received by the producer, because customers demand to know more about where their food comes from, and are willing to pay for it. Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  6. 6. LOCAL FOOD EXPANSION  Willing to pay a premium  Achieved $7 billion in sales for 2011 (USDA‐ERS).  Estimated 107,000 farms, or about 5% of all U.S. farms (CRS-2013).  Formation of multi-farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and food hubs. Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  7. 7. WHAT IS A FOOD HUB? Gaskin, Julia W. et al. (January 2013). “Is There Farmer Interest in Food Hubs in Georgia? A Needs Assessment Survey.” Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium. Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  8. 8. USDA DEFINITION OF A FOOD HUB “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” (Barham et al. 2012). Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  9. 9. BROADER DEFINITION OF FOOD HUBS  function rather than form: “In many cases, food hubs share information with end users on where or how food was produced, providing a greater connection between producers and consumers.” (Matson et al 2013)  evolved from an educational or social mission:  striving to keep food dollars in the local economy  keeping working agricultural lands in production Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  10. 10. THE VARYING FUNCTIONS OF FOOD HUBS  Market Access for Local Foods  Transportation and Distribution  Brokerage Service  Increasing Market Share by Bundling  Increasing Market Share by Extending the Season  Maintaining a Consumer-Producer Connection  Information Flow and Sharing (Source of Information) Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  11. 11. FOOD HUB AS AN INFORMATION SOURCE  Creation of Networks and the Linking of Buyers - E.g. LuLu’s Local (Virtual)  Product Assurances - Assurances about product quality  Traceability - Point of origin Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  12. 12. TRACEABILITY  Producer to Consumer  Fresh produce has no label with pertinent production information. Food Safety  Inventory Management  Information of Value   Consumers can make more informed purchasing decisions. Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  13. 13. TRACEABILITY  Sustainability and Transparency  The producer is able to become a price maker and directly represent themselves and their products to consumers. Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  14. 14. COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION  “Locavore”  Values Based Food Chain  Food Deserts  Intersection of Demand and Social Values Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  15. 15. CONCLUSION Traditional Market    Cost Volume Optimization Traceable Market    Information Quality Satisfaction of Customer Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  16. 16. CONCLUSION  Conventional U.S. Food Marketing Chains are ill equipped to maintain the traceability of products.  Food Hubs connect producers and buyers  Food hubs maintain traceability as a value proposition Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas
  17. 17. WANT TO KNOW MORE? For more information on local food marketing, check out USDA Report 73 by James Matson, Martha Sullins, and Chris Cook. Visit: www.matsonconsult.com (803) 233-7134 Connect with Matson Consulting on Facebook and Linked In Presented October 16, 2013 – Food Studies Conference Austin, Texas

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