What it takes for a regional food hub to succeed

A new report from the U.S. is just out, analysing how eight regional food hubs in the U.S. work.

Are there lessons here for Vancouver’s proposed New City Market?

According to this report, the keys to success are:

-The amount and timing of investments made in infrastructure are vital to the success and survival of food value chains;

-Preserving the identity of growers on product labels is critical for connecting with consumers, distinguishing the product from the competition and providing traceability;

-Informal farmer networks can offer additional flexibility for suppliers and buyers and allow food value chains to be highly responsive to the shifting demands of specialty food markets; and

-For-profit businesses, nonprofits and cooperatives all have unique strengths. By partnering with each other within food value chains they can leverage organizational competencies and reduce the risk of failure.

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About Urban Food Revolution

Peter Ladner is a former Vancouver city councilor, Metro Vancouver vice-chair and business owner who is currently a weekly columnist at Business in Vancouver newspaper and a regular contributor to crosscut.com, a Seattle-based online news service. He is the author of The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way we Feed Cities, published by New Society in November, 2011. For the past two years he has been a Fellow at the SFU Centre for Dialogue researching, teaching and organizing public events around the theme Planning Cities as if Food Matters. He was first elected to Vancouver City Council in 2002, was re-elected in 2005 and ran for mayor in 2008. He is a former member of the TransLink Board, and was vice chair of the Metro Vancouver Board. Peter has been the publisher, president and part owner of the Business in Vancouver Media Group, which he co-founded in 1989. He has a lifelong interest in growing food. As a city councilor, he worked with the Vancouver Food Policy Council in initiating the city’s program to add 2010 food-producing community garden plots by 2010. He is vice-chair of the The Natural Step Canada, part of an international organization that advances sustainability in communities and corporations. He has a B.A. from UBC and did graduate work at the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning. He and his wife Erica have four adult children.
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