The Food Hub will aggregate food from local Producers (farmers & ranchers) to provide one-stop-shopping for large-scale Buyers such as restaurants, stores and schools.
- BENEFITS TO BUYERS: Ability to make large purchases from many different Producers … all in a single order.
- BENEFITS TO PRODUCERS: Expanded markets and more efficient way to reach those markets.
- BENEFITS TO COMMUNITY: Increased access to fresh, locally grown food; expansion of agriculture in our county.
What is a Food Hub and How does it Work?
There are many different models for Food Hubs. The Nevada County Food Hub will be a full “aggregation” model, which gives maximum benefit to both the Producers and the Buyers. The following steps are repeated for each “buying cycle”, with user-friendly software tracking all of the inventory and orders.
- Producers log on and list the products they have available that week.
- Buyers log on and place a SINGLE order from as many different Producers as they wish.
- Producers get their “pick lists” and deliver the freshly-picked produce to the Buyers.
Eventually, the Food Hub will have a physical space with cold storage so Producers can deliver to the central location, then staff members will assemble the individual orders and deliver to the Buyers.
Benefits to the Buyers
- Purchasing from many Producers in a single order saves the Buyer the significant amount of time it takes to contact multiple Producers, find out what products they have available, and place individual orders with each. Research shows that many Buyers who would like to purchase and use locally-produced food simply don’t have the time to go through this process.
- Aggregating the products of many Producers allows Buyers do volume purchases that most individual Producers could not fulfill.
- Many Buyers feel that using locally grown food is well-received by their clientele and thus it is good marketing for their businesses.
Benefits to the Producers
- The Food Hub will open up additional markets for the Producers.
- Just as the Buyers have to work one-on-one with many different Producers in the traditional model, Producers have to work with many different Buyers. Each Producer has to establish a relationship with multiple Buyers. This takes a lot of time away from the Producer’s business of growing things. Also, not all Producers are good at marketing!
- The majority of existing Nevada County Producers we surveyed plan to increase their production if these new markets are opened up, thus increasing the profitability of their businesses.
- Prospective new farmers and ranchers are concerned about finding markets for their products. The Food Hub will help grow these markets.
Benefits to the Community
- The freshest produce is the most nutritious. Thus eating and buying freshly-picked local produce is healthier than food that has been on trucks or in storage for up to several days.
- Purchasing locally grown products supports the local economy.
- The food hub will provide an efficient way to give members of the community more access to fresh local produce where they eat, attend school, etc.
- An expected benefit of the food hub is growth in the agricultural sector of Nevada County. This is not just good for the economy … it is good for the environment we live in. Most farmers and ranchers in the county practice sustainable techniques which preserve and improve the quality of the soil, leaving this heritage to future generations.
Need to get in touch? Our Operations Manager, Rachel Klein, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org!