Defining Values: How Food Hubs put their principles into practice

Defining Values: How Food Hubs put their principles into practice

Defining Values: How Food Hubs put their principles into practice

By Hattie Hammans
Interviews by Bella Driessen

Sustainable Food Hubs are values-led organisations, each defined by their own unique culture and ethos.

But putting all their values into practice simultaneously can be challenging. They may feel under pressure (from themselves, their customers and the public) to deliver environmental, social and economic sustainability, but these goals often conflict. This report, based on detailed interviews with our core group of Sustainable Food Hubs, reminds us to ask: ‘What is a Food Hub in a position to tackle?’ In fact, the hubs reported that they continuously reassess what sustainability means when it is put into practice. The report suggests that their flexibility in finding answers to this question makes them an especially resilient node within local food infrastructure.

About the authors


Hattie Hammans

Hattie Hammans is the Food Research Collaboration’s Research Officer. She is leading our research project on Sustainable Food Hubs, where she works with hubs across the UK to explore the role of values-led food infrastructure and short supply chains in the UK food system.


Bella Driessen

Bella Driessen trained as an agroecological market gardener, having graduated with a Physics degree from UCL. This time spent working the soil alongside campaigners and activists led her back to academia to look more deeply into the food system’s structural issues. In 2019 she undertook an MSc in Environmental Change and Management at the University of Oxford, where she wrote her thesis on the neoliberalisation of the UK’s food system in the context of post-Brexit agricultural policy. Since then, she has worked with civil society, carrying out research into local food supply chains. As the Food Research Collaboration’s Research Officer in 2021, she focused on distribution and food hubs in sustainable food systems.

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