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.
Consumers’ interest in knowing where their food comes from has contributed significantly to the recent growth of the specialty foods market. The Beyond Fresh & Direct project team received a grant from USDA to identify ingredient sourcing opportunities in the specialty food business.
The number of farmers markets nationwide has increased more than ten-fold over the last few decades. Today there are more than 3,000 farmersmarkets bringing fresh, seasonal, high quality foods directly from local farms to enthusiastic customers in large and small communities throughout the U.S. Although farmersmarkets are known for connecting consumers directly with farmers, there has been little recognition of the way these markets help develop farm businesses and the economies of the host communities.
Our Agriculture marketing studies examines how specific counties or regions are responding to global economic and social trends by developing strategies that support more local or regional food systems.