Food Hubs: Supply Chain Traceability to Enhance Local Food Systems

By James Matson and Jeremiah Thayer.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 10, 2014 $US5.00

This paper discusses how food hubs can provide a path to rural revitalization and sustainability through enhancing traceability that assists local producers in gaining greater value for their products, as well as satisfying the increased desire of consumers to fulfill a food based social mission to increase food sustainability and health, and address the growing concern over food deserts. A food hub serves as a direct local link between producers and consumers for locally grown foods. Food hubs serve as a vehicle to efficiently transfer knowledge about production practices to customers and provide information on consumer desires to the producer. These ventures operate as more than simply a bridge between producers and consumers. By supporting local food systems, food hubs provide fresh, local, viable, and traceable food to meet growing demand, provide a means for local producers to access greater sales, and enhance the sustainability of rural economies by improving the economic status of agricultural businesses and local food markets. Food hubs combine local food production, direct marketing for farmers, and the efficiency of aggregated distribution in order to serve a local community with locally produced food that is easily traceable to its source.

Keywords: Local Foods, Traceability, Sustainability, Food Hubs, Rural Development

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, July 2014, pp.21-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 10, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 386.041KB)).

James Matson

Owner, Principal, Matson Consulting, Aiken, South Carolina, USA

Jeremiah Thayer

Associate, Matson Consulting, Aiken, South Carolina, USA