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ISDA has prepared a feasibility study for food hubs in Indiana. The project was funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, and the purpose of the study was to assess the needs of growers and consumers regarding the potential for regional food hubs operating as part of a statewide network to facilitate the marketing and access to specialty crops
What is a Food Hub?
The National Good Food Network (NGFN) describes 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.” In other words, food hubs offer logistical support to make it easier for producers, or farmers, to get their products in front of consumers. As a result, the business structure of food hubs ties them to their producers and the success of their products, ensuring that food hubs work for a purpose and have larger goals in mind than profit margins. This business structure has been very successful in recent years due to the nation-wide increase in demand for “local food.” Food hubs enhance their satisfaction of this demand by tying the source of production to the product itself through all stages of food distribution and sales.
What is a specialty crop?
In general, a specialty crops are “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall consist of greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water.
Steps in process
· Successful Food Hubs
“This material is based upon work supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture under Award Number 12-25-B-1669.”
Disclaimer: “This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government and the State of Indiana. Neither the United States Government or State of Indiana, nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government, the State of Indiana, or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government, the State of Indiana or any agency thereof.”