Regional food hubs are defined less by a particular business or legal structure, and more by how their functions and outcomes affect producers and the wider communi- ties they serve. Defining characteristics of a regional food hub include:
• Carries out or coordinates the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of primarily locally/region-ally produced foods from multiple producers to
• Considers producers as valued business partners instead of interchangeable suppliers and is committed
to buying from small to mid-sized local producers
• Works closely with producers, particularly small-scale operations, to ensure they can meet buyer
requirements by either providing technical assistance or finding partners that can provide this
•Uses product differentiation strategies to ensure
that producers get a good price for their products.
Examples of product differentiation strategies include: identity preservation (knowing who produced
it and where it comes from); group branding; specialty product attributes (such as heirloom or unusual varieties); and sustainable production practices
(such as certified organic, minimum pesticides, or
“naturally” grown or raised).
• Aims to be financially viable while also having positive economic, social, and environmental impacts
within their communities, as demonstrated by carrying out certain production, community, or environmental services and activities.
Source: USDA Regional Food Hub Resource Guide;
What Does a Regional
Food Hub Do?
Photo courtesy of USDA Photo by Phil Roeder
Photo by Phil Roeder