What’s Happening Now?!
We have completed the NWCT Food Hub Feasibility Study (details below) and have determined that a food hub IS in fact feasible. Click here for a copy of the Executive Summary of the study findings.
May 2016: we submitted a grant application to USDA to help fund the start-up of the NWCT food hub. This funding decision is expected to be made in September of 2016.
June 2016: we learned that Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities were awarded $50,000 from the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut to carry out advanced food hub business planning.
July 2016: we put out a “Request for Inquiry” to individuals or organizations interested in playing a key role in management or operation of the NWCT food hub. Click here to view the RFI.
For more information or updates contact us!
The Northwest Connecticut (NWCT) Food Hub Feasibility Study was spearheaded by the Northwest Hills COG and Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities, and was conducted by New Venture Advisors. The Study was pursued as part of an effort to support the region’s farmers in expanding and improving the profitability of their operations by providing new sales channels and marketing support and to give local consumers better access to local food.
Funding for this study was provided by the CT Dept. of Agriculture Farm Viability program and matched by in-kind contributions. This Study was critical in determining that sufficient supply and demand exists to justify the creation of a NWCT Food Hub. It also established what type of Food Hub would be most helpful to the farmers in our region and what type of infrastructure we would need. The business analysis concluded that revenue that could be generated once the hub got up and running would be greater than the costs of operating the hub and that there was a great deal of opportunity for additional revenue in future years.
During the course of this study we interviewed and surveyed over 70 growers in the region and over 30 buyers. We presented the findings of this research to both the 21 chief elected officials in the Northwest Hills Council of Governments and the full board of the NWCT Economic Development Corporation. As a result, both the NHCOG and NWCT EDC unanimously supported moving forward to create a hub.