Food Hubs and Values-Based Supply Chains
Food Hub and VBSC Resources
Wholesale channels that provide additional marketing options for small- to mid-sized, values-based producers, increase consumer access to their products, and participate in 'farm to fork' efforts are increasingly referred to as values-based supply chains (VBSCs). Businesses within VBSCs that aggregate product from these kinds of producers are often referred to as food hubs.
SAREP has been researching food hubs and VBSCs to help develop marketing channels that provide greater economic stability and viability to small- and mid-sized farmers and food producers as well as fresh, high-quality food to consumers.
The following publications explore opportunities and challenges for food hubs and VBSC implementation, and can be used as resources for participants interested in orienting their work toward values-based marketing and distribution.
A literature review synthesizing recent reports, analyses, and how-to manuals and practical case studies geared towards practitioners developing food hubs, values-based supply chains and similar marketing channels.
A synthesis of existing research and scholarship on values-based supply chains in the United States.
This report describes the variety of new values-based supply chains and food hubs in California and helps farmers and ranchers better understand the benefits and constraints of these new marketing opportunities so they can decide if and how they should participate. We provide an overview of benefits and considerations for producers participating in different types of enterprises. We also suggest some questions a producer might want to ask before participating in a particular enterprise. We hope that this effort will shed some light on the growing world of values-based supply chain enterprises so that farmers, ranchers, and consumers can all benefit.
Summary and Key Findings
This document summarizes key findings from our values-based supply chain case studies. This project examines the financial, government regulations, industry business practices and entrepreneurial factors that influence the development of emerging distribution networks embedded in values-based supply chains.
This project examines the financial, policy and entrepreneurial factors that influence the development of emerging distribution networks embedded in food-based value chains. Such networks can enhance the sustainability of small- and medium-scale producers, in the broadest sense, by addressing their environmental, economic and social concerns through a focus on cooperation, to gain economies of scale in marketing services, efficiencies in common distribution activities and building food system communities.
With the generous support from USDA Rural Development, SAREP has compiled an extensive annotated bibliography on food hubs and values-based supply chains. The bibliography includes academic literature, reports and publications from non-profits and research firms, and articles in USDA publications and trade journals. This resource is part of an ongoing SAREP project, also funded by USDA Rural Development, to provide tools and resources to California farmers and ranchers on this new and emerging field of values-based aggregation and distribution.