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Do farmers and other suppliers benefit from sales to food hubs? Evidence from Vermont

Conner, David S., Sims, Katherine, Berkfield, Richard, Harrington, Hannah
Journal of hunger & environmental nutrition 2018 v.13 no.4 pp. 507-516
farmers, farms, local food systems, markets, sales, surveys, viability, Vermont
Food hubs (FHs) have been widely touted and studied as means of expanding markets for local and regional food. One crucial area that has not received a great deal of attention is FHs’ impact on suppliers, notably farmers and small-scale manufacturers. This paper presents results of a series of 13 surveys with suppliers of two FHs in rural Vermont. Our results suggest that the FHs are serving a valuable service, providing another market outlet for suppliers. While volumes are small, suppliers find them to be worthwhile. Our implications include emphasizing food access and farm viability missions through market and supplier development while letting other organizations provide technical assistance.