Food hubs—third-party businesses/organizations that handle distribution and marketing logistics for small-scale local growers—are near and dear to our hearts at Fair Food. In 2014, our Executive Director, Ann Karlen, was named lead faculty member of University of Vermont's Food Hub Management Certificate Program. But we're not just food hub advocates, we're also customers. At the Fair Food Farmstand, we rely on food hubs to supply us with fresh produce, dairy, meats, and value-added products from small family farms all over the region. By taking care of the transportation and sales aspects of farming, food hubs make it possible for more farmers to bring their products to market, which in turn creates a healthier and more sustainable food system for everyone. It's the ultimate win-win!
So you can imagine our excitement when we read the following passage, from the Findings of the 2015 National Food Hub Survey:
"The 2015 survey findings indicate that as new food hubs continue to open for business, more established food hubs continue to operate and thrive. One-third of hubs completing the survey began operations in the last two years. Three fourths of surveyed hubs across the nation are breaking even or better. By comparison, a little over two-thirds (68%) of food hubs were breaking even or better in 2013. We think this change represents an important threshold that demonstrates the food hub model can be financially successful across a variety of legal structures and geographic or customer markets. Our findings suggest that financial success coexists with mission-related success"