Metabolic Studio Public Salon
Friday, July 10, 2009 @ Noon
Getting Regional Food to Market with FoodHub
About the Salon
Demand for local food is at an all-time high. As a result, larger-volume and institutional purchasers such as public schools, colleges, hospitals, retail grocery stores and many others are increasingly assigning geographic preference to their key purchase criteria along with long-standing cost, quality, quantity, and delivery requirements. Yet every year more American small- and medium-sized family farms go out of business, having not found a viable method for accessing this increased market demand for their products. This year in the Pacific Northwest the farmer with a fire sale on blueberries will have access to hundreds of online wholesale buyers through a new tool called FoodHub. Will it save the family farm? It just might. Come find out more. (see too www.ecotrust.org/foodhub/)
About the Salon Participant
Deborah Kane’s passion for promoting local and sustainable agriculture places her at that critical junction where the culinary arts and the sustainable agriculture movement intersect. A tireless advocate for sustainable agriculture and food-related industries, Kane currently serves as vice president of Food and Farms at Ecotrust, a Northwest-based conservation organization.
Under Kane's leadership, Oregon became the first state in the nation to institutionalize the notion of getting regionally produced food into public schools by creating full time ‘farm to school’ positions in both its Departments of Education and Agriculture. Kane is the publisher of Edible Portland, an award-winning quarterly magazine that celebrates the region’s bounty, season by delicious season.
FoodHub, Kane's latest project, is an online directory and marketplace designed to make it easy and efficient for buyers and sellers of regional food to find one another and conduct business. Kane looks forward to the day when supply chains are transparent and information flows readily so that questions such as “I wonder where I can sell these parsnips” and “Where can I get 120 pounds of wild salmon” are answered with the click of a button.
Photo: Chef John Toboada receives a delivery of local produce from farmer Laura Masterson. Foodhub makes it possible for local producers to find (hungry) buyers.
Photo courtesy Deborah Kane.