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Farmers Markets and Local Food Marketing
 
Food Hubs: Building Stronger Infrastructure for Small and Mid-Size Producers  
  
“Skyrocketing consumer demand for local and regional food is an economic opportunity for America's farmers and ranchers. Food hubs facilitate access to these markets by offering critical aggregation, marketing, distribution and other services to farmers and ranchers. By serving as a link between the farm or ranch and regional buyers, food hubs keep more of the retail food dollar circulating in the local economy. In effect, the success of regional food hubs comes from entrepreneurship, sound business sense and a desire for social impact.“

        — USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, May 2013

Many farmers and ranchers, especially smaller operations, are challenged by the lack of distribution and processing infrastructure of appropriate scale that would give them wider access to retail, institutional, and commercial foodservice markets, where demand for local and regional foods continues to rise. Food hubs can help. By offering a combination of production, aggregation, distribution, and marketing services, food hubs make it possible for producers to gain entry into new and additional markets that would be difficult or impossible to access on their own.

The USDA is committed to food hubs because we believe that food hubs offer strong and sound infrastructure support to producers across the country which will also help build a stronger regional food system. Here are some links to USDA's research, findings, and support of food hubs.

For more information, please contact foodhubs@ams.usda.gov.


 
Additional Information
 
  Food and Nutrition Service's Farm to School Program  
 
  Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food  
 
  USDA Blog  
 
  Rural Development  
 
  Agricultural Marketing Service's Marketing Services Division  
 
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  Last Modified Date: 03/31/2014