CAFF has over fifteen years of experience in the field of food hubs and local food distribution. Following CAFF’s work with Growers Collaborative (GC), the organization was chosen to lead or partner on five food system feasibility studies in the state, in which the concept of a food hub was at the center of the discussion.
CAFF concludes that new stand-alone facilities and aggregation hubs, unless farmer owned and operated, are not viable enterprises in California. In our view, a more effective strategy for local food system development is achieved not by establishing a stand-alone food hub, but rather by working collaboratively to modify existing infrastructure and fostering supply chain values among a broad set of food system stakeholders while also educating the community about local food and engaging them in the movement. This is the take home message in CAFF’s report titled “Making the Invisible Visible: Looking Back at Fifteen Years of Local Food Systems Distribution.” CAFF’s purpose for the paper is to answer questions about CAFF’s own food hub, the Grower’s Collaborative, and share lessons learned from our successes and failures in trying to localize food systems with cutting edge distribution solutions.