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Food Hubs



Farmers' Market Sign

Food hubs aggregate products from small and mid-sized farms, making these products available from a single source and at volumes large enough to be attractive to retailers. The USDA defines a food hub as "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."

Food hubs may be structured as cooperatives, for-profit companies, or non-profit organizations. They sell all types of food products although most sell fresh produce. All food hubs proudly identify the farmers and ranchers who provide the products they sell.

NOTE: Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Acrobat Reader.
Others are Excel Spreadsheets which can be opened with Excel Viewer, even if you don't have Microsoft Excel installed.

 

Resources for Food Hub Planners and Managers


Feasibility Study for a Texas Organic Food Hub
June 2015 study of a potential statewide organic food hub in Texas, conducted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology with funding from the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program of USDA-Rural Development, award number 49-015-752017047.
NOTE: Available only as a downloadable PDF.

Food Hub Planning Workbook
Enables food hub planners and managers to evaluate the viability and financial performance of a hypothetical or existing food hub for up to three years, as well as exploring an unlimited number of "what if" scenarios.

The Workbook consists of the following five files:

 

ATTRA Publications


Food Hubs: A Producer Guide - IP455

PDF Price: $2.99 for non-members
Kindle Price: $2.99

 • Summary • Buy PDF  • Buy Kindle • Buy Print Copy

Organic Specialty Crop Production In Texas: A Grower's Handbook - IP488

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy  • View Now

Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets - IP464

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy  • View Now

Tips for Farm Leases and Contracts: Creating Smart, Effective Documents - IP449

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy

Tips for Selling to Aggregators/Grower Marketing Co-ops - IP434

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy

Tips for Selling to Grocery Stores - IP424

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy

Tips for Selling to Produce Brokers - IP436

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy

Tips for Selling to Produce Distributors - IP431

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy

Tips for Selling to Produce Packing Houses - IP433

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy

Tips for Selling to: Wholesale Buyers at Terminal Markets - IP432

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy

 

 

More Food Hub Links

Family Farmed
A non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food. Their "Wholesale Success" workbook is invaluable for growers involved in food hubs.
National Good Food Network, Food Hub Center
A primary source of information for anyone interested in learning about food hubs. A project of Winrock International Foundation.
Southern Sustainable Agricultural Working Group
Food Hub Assistance Project helps producers learn about food hubs.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Local and Regional Food Systems
SARE maintains six Topic Room databases. The Topic Room entitled "Farm to Table: Building Local and Regional Food Systems" is full of research and case studies of importance to potential food hub organizers.
USDA - Agriculture Marketing Service, Food Hub Center
Links and publications of interest to food hub organizers, one of the best and most comprehensive directories of U.S. food hubs, and contact information for USDA personnel who can advise on different aspects of creating a food hub.
USDA - Agriculture Marketing Service, Market News, Fruits and Vegetables Portal
Provide food hub organizers with information needed to estimate sales and prices. Historical data on prices, origins, movement, and other aspects of the fresh produce industry.

 

Arrow Icon For an extended list of local food resources, please visit ATTRA's Local Food Resources Section.

 

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This page was last updated on: August 5, 2015