Food hubs are proliferating. But what exactly are they? What are they for? And why do we need them? This Discussion Paper and Guidance Note present the findings from the first phase of our work, which brought together people already working in food hubs and academic researchers.
Broadly speaking, food hubs are entities that sit between people who produce food and people who eat it, gathering food from growers and distributing it either to commercial customers or directly to consumers. They can fill gaps in local food infrastructure, help consumers find locally sourced produce, support new forms of food retail, incubate food enterprises, or create a space for community education and action.
Sustainable food hubs endeavour to apply standards or values supportive of sustainability principles to their sourcing and how they operate. They thus provide an appropriate route to market for agroecological and ethical growers and makers.
The reports have been written for people who want to understand the role of food hubs in the UK, or to determine whether a food hub is appropriate for their locality and purposes.