What is a Food Hub?
A food hub provides aggregation, distribution and marketing services to producers allowing them to access retail, institutional and commercial food service markets. This benefits producers by giving them more time to focus on production, resulting in higher incomes and opportunities to increase production. Food hubs benefit communities too, by increasing everyone’s access to fresh, nutritious, local food.
Dakota Fresh Food Hub resulted from rural producers’ interest in making their products accessible to wholesale urban markets in Sioux Falls and surrounding areas. After discussions over many months, the group determined the best way to bring together product from many producers was to create a farmer-owned organization to facilitate marketing, aggregation and delivery of products. Thus, Dakota Fresh, LLC. was born and began operations in 2016. SDSU Extension was instrumental in the development of the project and continues to advise us. Dakota Rural Action and South Dakota Specialty Producers Association offered early support as well.
Dakota Fresh, though an LLC, functions more like a co-op. Member-producers are equally invested in the company and are therefore equal part owners. Our daily operations are handled by our hired manager, while the business side is run by our volunteer board of managers elected from among our producers. We are currently accepting new producers! For details on how to join, click here!
A Growing Venture
In May 2019, we will expand our initial vision to offer weekly retail sales of Dakota Fresh products to anyone willing to pick up their order at one of our delivery locations. As a community-minded food hub, we are committed to being a resource and conduit for local food access in southeast South Dakota. As such, we are continually developing partnerships with like-minded groups and businesses to encourage a thriving local foods movement in our region. Contact us to discuss how we can partner with your organization!