- Consumer demand for locally sourced foods is growing, although transporting them to markets involves a number of challenges including logistics, supply consistency, and food safety.
- A food hub, which brings together local food producers and food suppliers, makes it possible to overcome these obstacles and deliver local produce to the customers who want it.
- A new national report, Solving Local, presents five case studies that demonstrate how food hubs work in getting produce from small farms and other food businesses into high-volume supply chains.
As we saw here, the local trend has been around for a while. What the Solving Local report offers is concrete examples of how businesses made it work for them. For example, Common Market, a food hub in Philadelphia, sold to more than 200 local customers, including schools and other organizations, and realized $1.7 million in sales. It stocks more than 700 sustainably produced SKUs, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, grains, and various value-added products and works with more than 75 farmers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Sales have risen 60% since 2011, and the food hub is planning on expanding into New York City and Baltimore markets.