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Overview from this report
Consumer demand for local food is undeniable and growing. Not so obvious is what qualifies as “local”. Nor is it clear how the food retail and service industries can pull safe and reliable quantities of small- volume product through large-volume wholesale channels.
Responding to these market challenges is a new intermediary: The regional food hub. Retailers and food service companies, large and small, are teaming up with food hubs to differentiate themselves with local food programs and satisfy strong consumer demand.
Food hubs are the scaling up strategy for local food. Industry executives can get ahead of the curve by becoming acquainted with the food hubs in their territories and taking strategic steps to grow local food sales with them.
Food hubs bring farmer networks, food safety protocols, and logistics and marketing strengths. Buyers identify assets and opportunities, from receiving to merchandising, for fitting the small-farm aggregators and their diverse product lines into supply chains.