FamilyFarmed is a non-profit organization committed to expanding the production, marketing and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food, in order to enhance the social, economic, and environmental health of our communities.
“FamilyFarmed was integral to inspiring and creating Blue Ridge Produce. Its initial feasibility study helped to focus on the untapped need for regional produce aggregation and distribution. They subsequently played a key role in bringing together the key partners to make it happen.”– Jim Epstein, Chairman, Blue Ridge Produce
Food hubs are essential economic stimulators in the Good Food movement that help grow local food systems. They provide infrastructure to aggregate, process and distribute local food. In essence they create a supply chain from farms to wholesale buyers and even to consumers. Doing so gives smaller producers greater market power.
FamilyFarmed is a national leader in food hub development and has done extensive work researching and developing facilities that aggregate and/or process food from local farmers. As a result of this work, FamilyFarmed has helped to launch Blue Ridge Produce in Virginia and the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative. Together they serve more than 200 farmers and distribute their local produce to restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals, universities, and distributors such as US Foods and SYSCO.
In partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the University of Illinois, FamilyFarmed published Building Successful Food Hubs: A Business Planning Guide for Aggregating and Processing Local Food in Illinois, a “how to” guide for food entrepreneurs. FamilyFarmed is also producing an informative report titled Food Safety for Food Hubs and Their Farmers for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which is expected to publish and release it in 2017.
FamilyFarmed has also conducted feasibility studies for commercial kitchens and worked with the Tazewell County Resource Center to envision its Taste of TCRC program. This center for people with developmental disabilities now does commercial catering and food processing out of its kitchen.
Here are some of our reports and feasibility studies:
Building Successful Food Hubs: A Business Planning Guide for Aggregating and Processing Local Food in Illinois
Ready to Grow: A Plan for Increasing Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Production
Local Food System Assessment for Northern Virginia
Wisconsin Food Safety Assessment
Southern Wisconsin Food Hub Feasibility Study