Interested in becoming a Producer for the Food Hub? Please read below!
What are the 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.
How does the Nevada County Food Hub work?
The Hub website contains an inventory of the products and quantities that each Producer has available for sale in the next week. Buyers visit the website and choose products from the list and then go to a check out screen to purchase those products with a credit card.
An email alert is sent to the Producer identifying the Buyer, the products purchased and the expected delivery date. The Producer harvests the products shortly before delivery and takes the product to the Buyer.
Nevada County Grown issues a check to the Producer once delivery is confirmed.
What can be sold?
The Hub’s 2016 pilot operation focused mainly on vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit, eggs and grains. For the future, expanding to other products is envisioned including meat, poultry, honey and value-added products. The most common comment from our Buyers was a desire for greater quantities and more variety.
Are there any fees for Producers?
Producers need to be a member of Nevada County Grown ($40) and opt for a Hub membership of $20. Other than that, Producers pay no fee but do need to be sure it is cost effective to deliver to the Buyer. It is possible to specify a minimum order by product to avoid small deliveries.
Can a very small Producer use the Hub?
Absolutely. Often a Buyer needs a larger quantity than what a small Producer can provide. The Hub product list allows the Buyer to select from several Producers to obtain the quantity they need. Further, if there is a special seasonal item, like asparagus or figs, the Hub can highlight that item to the Buyers in its weekly marketing emails.
What are the requirements for a Producer?
Producers MUST deliver the products that are listed. If there is ever a problem, they can contact the Hub manager for help. Often the manager can find an alternative source. Dependable service is crucial to the Buyer and the success of the Hub.
Producers are expected to keep the Hub database updated on available products and quantities and completed deliveries. The system is very easy to use, but the Hub manager can help with any difficulties a Producer may encounter.
How do I sign up?
You must become a member of Nevada County Grown to Participate. The cost for this plus the Hub membership is $60 annually. Contact the Hub manager, Rachel Klein, [email protected] or at (614) 288-0745 for questions. If you are familiar with the Hub you can apply to be a Producer by visiting our software site, Local Orbit.