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Data dive explores financials at wholesale end of local food business Entrepreneurs, investors will use new metrics to make local food more widely available Download the full report [ARLINGTON, VA] New financial data from the emerging local food sector provides an in-depth look at the growth—and growing pains—of wholesale intermediaries called food hubs.
The analysis uses an established benchmarking practice for comparing results within particular sectors to develop baseline performance measures. Almost half of all hubs are less than five years old. During this time, many experienced double digit annual growth rates.
More key findings below. All need to understand where the risks are for each stage in the value chain and for the sector as a whole. Last February, the company reached breakeven point for the first time. Co-CEO Tina Prevatte says study findings show that Firsthand Foods is in a similar place as so many of the other start-up hubs around the country.
Slim margins and operating near breakeven are actually signs of success when your intention is to make good food accessible to all while also paying farmers fairly and equitably.
However, Counting Values represents a significant advance in the business of moving local food into high-volume sales channels. The Wallace Center is a Virginia-based non-profit that hosts the National Good Food Network NGFNa learning community of individuals and organizations pursuing market-based approaches to a more sustainable and equitable food and farm sector.
NGFN partner Farm Credit is a nationwide network of locally-owned lenders to rural communities and agriculture. Farm Credit has a specific focus on helping young, beginning and small producers, who are vital to the economic health of agriculture and rural industries. Walmart Foundation support for the study builds on investments that other funders, such as the Surdna Foundation and the U.
Wallace Center director John Fisk says: It offers a starting point to better assess different enterprises throughout the entire food value chain. This type of research needs to be continued over time, at the same level of detail, to support overall growth and impact of the good food sector.
A sector wide financial analysis of how food enterprises are striking a balance between profit and social change can serve as a valuable resource to local lenders interested in food hubs and other models as solutions for their communities. Most have entered the wholesale business as a means for achieving these other outcomes, and some seek philanthropic support for that part of their work.
The highest performing 25 percent posted a 4 percent profit compared to the average of -2 percent. Within this relatively narrow spectrum, the most profitable food hubs were larger, older, and for-profit operations.
On average, for-profit food hubs earned a 1 percent profit compared to not-for-profit food hubs, which posted -7 percent before consideration of grant income or contributions. The top 25 percent of hubs spent 39 percent more on labor cost per worker equivalent. Those workers outperformed their peers by 56 percent sales per worker equivalent.
These factors can make a big difference in a thin margin business. The gross margin of the typical food hub in the study was That means only Balancing profit margins with goals for an equitable food system is an ongoing challenge for some food hubs, which can be addressed in part with more efficient operations.
Each participating hub received an analysis of their financial performance compared to the benchmarks reported in this study. Hubs that use the benchmark data in combination with sound financial, operational, and marketing practices will enhance their capacity to optimize value to all players in the regional food system.
Farmers, food producers and communities will benefit. So will lenders, investors, and grant makers. Sustained profitability for regional food hubs is critical to the emergence of this new force for community economic development throughout the United States.
Together, these two studies provide the best available data on intermediated market channels for good food products and practices.The London Games were centred around the Olympic Park in east London, which is the site of a number of new sports venues.
Up to , spectators a day entered the Park to enjoy the Games, making it the principal focus of Olympic activity. Teacher removed from classroom after report she hosts a white supremacist podcast | Miami Herald International Business National Business Good Samaritan stops to help driver on a Florida.
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