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Wednesday, April 22 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Food Hubs in Western North Carolina: Local Food Transactions

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The local food system (LFS) in Western North Carolina (WNC) has been developed greatly in scope and visibility since the early 1990’s. However many challenges continue to face local food producers. The term food hub is an umbrella term that characterizes organizations that are involved in the aggregation, processing, marketing and distribution of foods. They alleviate many of the barriers facing small farmers who are often major stakeholders in local food. In doing so they allow supply from small producers to be marketed and distributed in larger food supply chains. This is an important piece of infrastructure that currently missing imposes great transaction cost to farmers. There is limited prior research on the experience of food hubs has been conducted. This work develops the food hub narrative in Western North Carolina through a collection interviews and surveys with existing regional food hubs. The theoretical framework of transaction cost theory is applied to the food hubs’ experiences and highlights the successes and challenges of food hubs. Regionally, food hubs have been successful in decreasing transaction costs for small farmers, therefore increasing total revenue. Further investigation into the practicality and impact of food hubs is merited by these findings.

Wednesday April 22, 2015 1:20pm - 1:40pm PDT
033 Karpen Hall

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