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...]

Matchmakers Pull Local Food Sector Together

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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...]

Food Hubs: Solving Local

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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

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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

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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...]

Small Farms, Local Food Getting Some Hot New Technology

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Jane Bush of Charlotte, MI, is one of those smaller farmers with a diverse mix of products for a broad range of local customers. The latest venture for her Apple Schram Organic Orchard is sales of early tomatoes and extended season greens to hospitals in Jackson, Ann Arbor and Lansing, Michigan, as part of the new Four Seasons Cooperative. Like … [Read more...]

Alarming Step in MI to Outlaw Heritage Pigs

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Is Michigan the canary for the country on this score? Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, urged on by the Michigan Pork Producers Council, has made a sweeping feral hog declaration that is now coming down on small-scale livestock farmers who have developed strong markets for heritage breeds. Read this well-written editorial about it here … [Read more...]