As food growers make decisions on expanding their production, they often find themselves in the “chicken-and-egg” situation. Does it make sense to produce more product first, and should there be a market in place first? While economics has always relied on the supply and demand model, it becomes personal and more complicated when it’s your business trying to navigate the waters.
Susan Pavlin directs an Atlanta-based startup “The Common Market Georgia.” She feels the food hub is in that same “chicken-and-egg” situation right now, and she feels it’s the perfect place to be. Pavlin says, “We have the agility and the skill set to bring that supply and demand together.
Local food as economic development has yet to emerge as a comprehensive regional strategy. There are still large market gaps facing both entrepreneurs and investors. Due to the globalization of food and agriculture, there are holes locally and regionally in processing, distribution, and other necessary supply chain functions. Can local foods develop production and markets quick enough to fill those gaps?
Food hubs as intermediaries are becoming a tool to do just that. More than 300 food hubs have emerged nationally in recent years. Food hubs are social enterprises in the business of bridging infrastructure gaps in the growing local food sector.
Industry analysts peg the sector at $12 billion in 2014, with sales through 2018 expected to have a 9% annual growth.
Dakota Fresh Food Hub
In South Dakota you can learn more about the Dakota Fresh food hub opening in May in Southeastern South Dakota by contacting Kari O’Neill.
Reference: Good Food Economy Digest