April 24, 2012
Last Friday, April 20th, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the launch of USDA’s online food hub resource guide. Food hubs, which can concentrate multiple producers’ processing, distribution, and marketing efforts at a single site, attract local consumers and allow smaller-sized farms to compete in larger markets. The new guide acts a resource for small and mid-sized farm operators seeking to expand their market opportunities through a variety of means.
“The Regional Food Hub Resource Guide is an important tool to help promote local and regional efforts to support small and medium sized producers,” noted Merrigan. “Food hubs play a critical role in developing stronger supply chains and addressing the infrastructure challenges while supporting food access, regional economic development, and job creation.”
The guide explains how producers can develop and participate in food hubs, as well as acquire funding. Interested parties can use the tool to determine how this funding can expand regional economies and to locate food hubs in their area.
“The new guide is the most comprehensive handbook on food hubs ever available,” said Merrigan. “Now farmers, buyers, researchers, consumers, or anyone interested in creating a food hub in their community can tap into a single resource to find the information that they need.”
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), in conjunction with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, the National Good Food Network, the National Association of Produce Market Managers, and the Project for Public Spaces, developed the resource as part of the National Food Hub Collaboration. The resource is part of USDA’s larger Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF) initiative and can be found on the KYF Compass, a digital guide to USDA resources related to local and regional food systems.
Categories: Local & Regional Food Systems