Selling to food hubsDOWNLOAD FILE
What is a food hub?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a regional food hub is 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.
How food hubs support farmers
- 82% of food hubs have a mission related to • Ensuring producers receive a fair price • Increasing small and mid-sized farmers’ access to markets
- On average, 46% of a food hub’s suppliers are considered beginning farmers or businesses
What else do food hubs do for farmers?
- Play the role of matchmaker in identifying appropriate buyers
- Scale-appropriate or scale-able
- Desired production practices
- Food safety
- Technical assistance and producer development
- Some hubs bundle products into multi-farm CSAs or food boxes
Michigan's Food Hubs
- 11 hubs
- Statewide Food Hub Network coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
- Right price is somewhere between direct and wholesale
- Don’t sell yourself short, but need to be competitive
- Consider that the hub is adding value through marketing, distribution, direct customer management, etc.
- Think about what you grow best and lead with that item
- Sweet spot of 3-5 crops with consistent supply and quality
- Consider what can be succession planted and/or harvested multiple times
- Hub may sell to your current customers
- May want to retain at least some and use hub to get new accounts
- Discuss how customer relationships are handled and your role
- Hub may require written food safety plan or certification
- Some may want to visit your farm
- Generally liability insurance is also required