Ohio’s Regional ‘Food Hubs’

Last Friday, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture sent out a press release announcing the publication of the latest Food Hub Resource Guide.  I thought it might be a good time to talk about what a regional food hub is and where one might find a hub in Ohio.

What is a Regional Food Hub?

The USDA defines a food hub as:

… businesses or organizations that connect producers with buyers by offering a suite of production, distribution, and marketing services. It’s an innovative business model that allows farmers of all sizes to meet the growing consumer demand for fresh, local food by gaining entry into commercial and larger volume markets such as grocery stores, hospitals and schools.

In other words, if you’re a farmer or someone who produces an agricultural-related product, these are the people who can help you get what you produce into a local market. Yes, there is marketing help out there if you want to produce for and participate in the growing local and regional food market.

Do we have these food hubs in Ohio?

Yes:

  1. Appalachian Center for Economic Networks – is located in Athens, Ohio and provides business incubator services and linkages to the wholesale. It is a nonprofit.
  2. Green B.E.A.N. Delivery – is located in Columbus, Ohio and helps farmers move product directly to consumers via a home or workplace delivery service as well as business and institutional delivery of local products. It is privately held.
  3. Local Matters – is located in Columbus, Ohio and is farm to consumer oriented and operates a mobile market. It is nonprofit.
  4. Local Roots Market & Cafe (Wooster Local Foods Cooperative) – is located in Wooster, Ohio and focuses on farm to consumer through an online buying club. It is a cooperative.
  5. Shagbark Seed & Mill Company – is located in Athens, Ohio and operates a multi-farm CSA as well as wholesale accounts. It is privately held.
  6. The West Side Market – is located in Cleveland is a public market. It is publicly held.
  7. Green B.E.A.N. Delivery – is located in Cincinnati, Ohio and helps farmers move product directly to consumers via a home or workplace delivery service as well as business and institutional delivery of local products. It is privately held.

This list was compiled from this document located on the USDA website. If you’re not on here, and think you should be, leave a comment and we’ll get you on our list.

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