The Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative is a project that was started in 2012 by the Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, a not-for-profit organization concerned with the Hudson Valley food system and its neighboring communities in the state of New York. The Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress is funded by the Local Economies Project (LEP) of the New World Foundation and collaborates with the Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. According to the Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative, the project’s mission is to form the infrastructure of a robust food organization in order to benefit the Hudson Valley farmers and communities. Sarah Brannen of Upstream Advisors, the preparer of the Executive Summary, explicates that food hubs are oriented to tackle tasks such as the loss of farmland and related financial issues, as well as health and social issues that are part of food systems – this is precisely what the Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative is working to do. The Hudson Valley is a valuable food hub because, according to the Full Report of Research Findings and Recommendations, it is comprised of 474,000 farmland acres and more than 3100 farms, producing US$322 million of food per annum.
The Research Findings and Recommendations report examines not only food hubs, but also Hudson Valley food value chains and provides recommendations as to the next steps of implementation for improving the Hudson Valley food hub. Farmers, buyers, and local distributors are all discussed in the Report’s conclusions and recommendations. Namely, the Report calls for recruiting farmers and other businesses, but also advocates partnering with existing organizations to deliver food services and coordinate local food system resources.
More information about the Hudson Valley Food Hub Initiative can be found in the listening-session presentation. Consumers can get involved and help transform the food system with the Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress here or email HVFoodHubs@pfprogress.org.