From Farm to Chopping Block: Vancouver Local Food Hub
There are trucks lumbering up and down our highways, roadways and alleyways nearly every hour of every day. They bring food from warehouses, distribution centers, and ports to commercial buyers of every stripe: restaurants, retailers, caterers. For small and mid-sized producers, the grumble and rumble of these trucks can serve as an ominous reminder of the incredible challenges they often face in getting their fresh produce into the hands of chefs, produce managers and small business owners. But no more!
The Vancouver Local Food Hub (VLFH), www.vancouverlocalfoodhub.ca, now acts as a virtual buying space with twice weekly delivery for buyers across Metro Vancouver seeking to access fresh, local produce in as direct manner as possible. In 2013, FarmFolk CityFolk and the Vancouver Farmers Market partnered with Greenchain Consulting to develop a plan for the oft-requested small-scale distribution service. Consultation with producers, buyers, and community partners led to the launch of the VLFH on May 15th, 2015.
The VLFH has six producers from Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan: Taves Family Farm, Sunberry Farm, Rondriso Farm, Parson’s Farm, Crisp Organics, and Gojoy Berries. The VLFH can still accept other producers over the course of the growing season, should additional growers be interested. It provides a mix of products, grown both conventionally and organically, from specialty items like dried goji berries to kitchen staples such as salad greens. Each week, producers will update their offerings and buyers can access a range of fresh products to be delivered right to the door, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The process is simple. Commercial buyers can create a log-in account on the Vancouver Local Food Hub site, and access fresh sheets posted by each producer for one of both of the twice weekly deliveries. Each delivery requires a $200 minimum order and arrives by noon of either Tuesday or Friday. In addition to ordering, buyers are encouraged to visit each producer’s page to learn more about the location, composition and growing practices of each farm. The true value of the hub is the ability for buyers to connect directly with growers, strengthening the local food system across British Columbia.
To learn more, or start buying, visit www.vancouverlocalfoodhub.ca