Larsen_Massey_Can food hubs catalyse health and resilient peri-urban Food systems?


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Beyond the Edge: Australia's First National Peri-urban Conference
La Trobe University
Oct 2013

Published in: Business, Technology
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Larsen_Massey_Can food hubs catalyse health and resilient peri-urban Food systems?

  1. 1. How Can Food Hubs Catalyse Healthy and Resilient Local Food Systems in Victoria: Developing a Food Hub in the City of Casey Progress to Date
  2. 2. Background  June 2011: scoping study into the feasibility of a food hub in the City of Casey.  Support to develop the project through a ‘feasibility study’  VicHealth Innovation Grant commenced July 2012
  3. 3. Work Program 1 Can ‘Food Hubs’ catalyse and support local food systems in Victoria and Australia? Mapping & Exploration Co-Design Feasibility Work with stakeholders to design and test a Food Hub Work Program 2 Develop and test an evaluation framework for Food Hubs Establish Grow Support Share knowledge through the Australian Food Hubs Network
  4. 4. Mapping and Exploration Stakeholder Mapping Spatial Mapping Who, What and Where 3. Supply & Demand Who are the leaders? What do they think? Interviews • 15 Producers • 12 Businesses • 10 Community Services Many informal conversations and meetings Focus: on those who are interested
  5. 5. Supply: Key Issues for Producers • Urban growth • Prices • Most distribution through supermarkets and wholesale – lots of uncertainty • Loyalty to independent grocers • Uncertain of community demand • Economies of scale vs ‘quality’ edge Challenges: • Does the community value farming in the region? • Will demand increase with activity / identification of local farmers? • Is it possible to develop a Food Hub that complements existing independent retail? ‘They don’t see us as an asset to the local community, they see us more as a peripheral thing…’ right to farm - ‘we’re the outsiders’ ‘They don’t want the little growers in there, so they just want to squeeze us’
  6. 6. Demand: Key Issues for Buyers • Already fiercely competitive retail space Challenges • Competitive on price • Price will be critical • • Willing to test the waters How to handle quantity / seasonality issue? • Increasing interest in organics / health ranges • Support not compete with existing relationships • Work in with / support existing businesses • Community awareness and interest unknown ‘if we could get really good fresh stuff at a reasonable price, it would be wonderful’ ‘New houses, young people, they’re not going to spend $10 when they can get the same for $4.’ ‘There are about 14 different supermarkets in a 5 to 10 kilometre radius’
  7. 7. Assumption 1: Best to start with Wholesale Phase 1 results: • 60-75 local farmers deliver produce to warehouse. • Aggregate and distribute: schools, hospitals, restaurants, retail and food distributors • Competitive retail space • Need to support existing independent retail/distribution activity • Concern re jeopardising existing/long-• term relationships Provide opportunities for existing relationships and businesses Example: Local Food Hub Work with buyers and farmers to produce a ‘demand document’ each season
  8. 8. Assumption 2: Businesses interested if easy and cost competitive Phase 1 results: • Businesses lack streamlined pathway of accessing local food • Concern over efficiency and price • Ambiguity – what is local? • Guarded interest - like to test the waters… How can we test and build business interest? Opportunities to easily purchase local food • Online platforms • Catalogue? • Pilot new distribution systems Connections and networks • Local food dinners, networking opps. etc for farmers and businesses
  9. 9. Assumption 3: If local produce is available the community will want it • Farmers think people lack knowledge and interest • Businesses think hip pocket wins • Community says they’re interested • 2 box schemes say there is strong Pop-Ups demand for fresh, local produce • Markets – schools, neighborhoods, How can we test and build community demand? Local branding • North Carolina 10% Campaignbranding and awareness raising • shopping centers Meals – food vans, festivals
  10. 10. Co-Design Stakeholder Forum     Supply, Demand and Partner Mapping February 2013 40 people (+ us) 11 farmers – huge diversity 17 retail/food service/processing, wholesale and hospitality businesses Community organisations, aged care, local government and community members. ‘Can’t review a film until you’ve seen it’ The Core Group Learn by Doing – Who’s In? Demand ‘Stocktake’ Key Issues  Product Quality  Price  Quantity  Timing of Deliveries  Interested partners willing to be part of a trial
  11. 11. Broader Community Engagement & Mobilisation – coming up . . South East Food Hub Food Relief
  12. 12. Australian Food Hubs Network 4. Establish Australian Food Hubs Network 5. Collaboratively develop and share knowledge 6. Research and Draw Upon Case Studies
  13. 13.