This guidance note from the UK’s Food Research Collaboration sets out how “food hubs” - organisations that connect food growers directly to customers - can help to revitalise local economies. It is aimed at food entrepreneurs, funders, not-for-profit workers and policymakers.
Advice from the guidance note includes:
- Food hubs can work with local shops to avoid being seen as a competitor.
- The physical space available to food hubs limits the quantity and variety that a hub can handle.
- Useful skills for food hub staff include administrative skills, driving, IT skills, and writing funding applications.
- Volunteer staff may need more support than anticipated.
- Advance payment from customers can help with a food hub’s cash flow.
- Food hubs should diversify their customers for financial stability, e.g. selling to both individuals and institutional customers such as universities and care homes.
The note is based on both stakeholder workshops and the Food Research Collaboration’s 2019 discussion paper Food Hubs in the UK: Where are we and what next?