Thursday, February 16, 2012

FoodHub: Public platform for direct food exchange

This is an important time for food and for its makers and consumers. The local food renaissance, which some small pockets of the country are enjoying, have been constrained by lack of connection. A peach farmer needs a buyer at the precise time his peaches are ripe. A caterer gets a last-minute request for duck: Who’s got some today for an event tomorrow? Restaurants open, restaurants close; it’s hard to keep track of who might want your fresh creams and fruit jams, and how you can get those products on the right truck. FoodHub is addressing these issues by positioning itself as a matchmaker. FoodHub aims to create an environment of relevant discovery that addresses a farmer’s needs as different from (but equally as important as) those of a caterer, dairyman, or distributor. It offers its members the opportunity to develop long-term relationships as well as one-time-only single connections.

FoodHub defines itself as a dynamic marketplace and online directory that makes it easy and efficient for professional food buyers and sellers to research, connect, and do business. FoodHub gathers food producers, professional food buyers, and the associations and suppliers that serve them both, in one platform.

The service is scale-neutral meaning they support anyone from a box to exchange to a semi-truck filled to the brim. They also handle a number of distribution models ranging from self-deliver, meet-ups and formal delivery services i.e. UPS. Once a connection is made via FoodHub, buyer and seller negotiate pricing and order details, execute the transaction and coordinate the exchange of goods independently. There are no transaction fees associated with making connections on FoodHub. If based in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska or California and fit one of the following descriptions, this might be a good service to check out.

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