The Santa Barbara County Food Hub is a project developed by Carla Rosin and her gang of collaborators in Santa Barbara, CA.
“Food hubs fulfill various roles, including functioning as aggregators, processors, distributors, and marketers of local food. In all of these roles, food hubs provide a critical supply chain link for rural communities and farmers to reach consumers interested in purchasing local products. Food hubs are also beneficial in creating new marketing opportunities for farmers and ranchers, allowing them to expand the scope of their consumer market. Depending on their structure, business model, mission and customer base, food hubs can have additional benefits, including: increasing access to local foods in underserved communities and schools; providing farmers and ranchers with higher prices than they might receive through other wholesalers; developing human capital through producer training and capacity building; and strengthening the ties between producers and consumers in the same community. The success or failure of a food hub should not be measured solely in terms of its aggregating function or in terms of total volume of product moved. It should also be valued in terms of the places its products go and the people who benefit from it. With growing demand for local or regional food products, some conventional marketing channels may be ill-equipped to supply local food where and how people wish to purchase it. Food hubs can fulfill important roles that create new opportunities for producers and consumers. Many also fulfill social and other community functions.”