Financial health and impacts on sustainable agriculture
In addition to examining what food hubs do and how they’re structured, the survey looked at their financial health and the impacts they are having on local communities, including ways food hubs influence producers in their production methods. Among the positive findings:
A majority of the food hubs surveyed were on solid financial footing, with operating costs matching revenue.
Most food hubs were able to operate independently of grants or other outside sources of funding. Two thirds of food hubs reported not receiving any funding from outside sources.
While most food hubs are small, with annual sales of $500,000 or less, they work with a broad range of producers. Most of the food hubs surveyed work with 30 or more different producers, providing local consumers with access to a broad range of products from local farms and ranches. Those producers were somewhat more likely to be women or people of color than the national averages for primary operators of farms.
On average, 60 percent of a food hub’s total gross sales came from small and mid-sized farms, while 76 percent of food hubs indicated that all or most of their producers fit this small to mid-sized farm category.
Most food hubs indicated that they have an impact on their producers, including influencing them to diversify their product offerings or adopt more sustainable production methods.