Data Dive Explores Financials at Wholesale End of Local Food

Counting Values study provides comparative data, or financial benchmarks, drawn from 48 of the more than 300 regional food hubs in the nation. (Photo: National Good Food Network)

By Patty Cantrell, Regional Food Solutions The wholesale end of local food is a growing business sector that walks a fine line between profitability and social change, according to a new study from the Wallace Center, home of the National Good Food Network. The COUNTING VALUES: Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study draws on financial and … [Read more...]

Region Finances Local Food with Team Work


In northwest Michigan a team of investors and lenders is taking a unique community-based approach to capitalizing farmers and local food producers. It is their commitment to both lending and learning that is making the difference. In their first year, 2013-2014, members of the Northwest Michigan Food and Farm 20/20 Fund made 18 loans for a … [Read more...]

Local Governments Move Local Foods


Local governments are seeing results on the ground as the local food sector expands. They range from new farmers enlivening old towns to new people visiting or moving to places where local food is on the menu – from downtown eateries to schools and nursing homes. And local leaders want more. All 16 regional councils of government in North … [Read more...]

Matchmakers Pull Local Food Sector Together


Originally published April 6, 2015 at the Wallace Center “Good Food Economy Digest“ Weekend phone calls, late nights, working out the details of a new farm-to-retail distribution venture. The entrepreneurs on either end of the line are Laura Edwards-Orr and John Brusie. She is executive director of Red Tomato, a local food venture that’s been … [Read more...]

Local Food Shifts Mass Market Sand


More global food giants are feeling the pincers of little local food markets that are helping to transform consumer tastes. Heinz and Kraft recently joined forces to cut costs and keep their highly processed products afloat amid the healthy food shift. McDonald’s is another one struggling to adjust supply chains designed around frozen, not fresh, … [Read more...]

Food Hubs: Solving Local


Small-farm aggregators, called food hubs, are helping wholesalers stock local food and sell it with integrity; with the local economic, environmental, and social benefits consumers want. The new Wallace Center-National Good Food Network report — Food Hubs: Solving Local — shows how. Here’s an excerpt of the report, co-authored by Patty … [Read more...]

Making Economic Sense of Local Good Food


What are the economic drivers behind so much local food demand and business growth? My answer in a presentation earlier this year is that it is a highly entrepreneurial spirit inside all of us that is breaking down major barriers and opening new opportunity. The secret to further growth and development of local and regional food systems is to drop … [Read more...]

Food Innovation Districts


The wide world of local and healthy food is coming together at the community level in many ways. A new guidebook explains how some towns are developing whole business districts around the synergy of community gardens, farmers markets, farm-to-table eateries, cottage food businesses and more. “Food Innovation Districts: An Economic Gardening … [Read more...]

Case Studies and Tips on Small Farm Financing


On the Line: Food and Jobs Lack of access to financial capital is a chief obstacle for newer farmers in the United States. This problem is urgent because the vast majority of farmers are at retirement age, and few of their children are choosing to stay in agriculture. A next generation of farmers is essential for future food security. New … [Read more...]