This Ted Talk addresses the need for farmers to have more sales opportunities outside of typical wholesale markets. Only 1% of food in America comes from direct to consumer channels, such as CSAs and farmers markets. This leaves many farmers forced to “sell out” because the direct market is already saturated. Marcel, the speaker, describes how food hubs could play a role in this system. The food hubs aggregate produce from many smaller operations, sell it as wholesale, yet treat the farmers fairly. By working with a food hub, farmers are able to establish a relationship with a trustworthy buyer. Many large-scale food operations are known for not actually caring about their farmers/farm workers. Food hubs are small enough that they have the resources to help the farmers they work with and are designed with the farmers’ needs in mind.
We had the opportunity to visit a food hub the first week of this program. I had never heard of one before and was a bit confused about their purpose. I now see their potential to benefit both the consumers and producers. Food hubs, like the one in Hardwick, seek to bring fresh, healthy foods to consumers and help producers grow their businesses. I think they are a great idea and will become more important to our food system in the future.