A new marketing partnership spearheaded by Purdue Extension aims to connect farmers and consumers. One extension educator envisions it spreading around the state.
The proposed Central Indiana Food Hub would, in its first stage, provide a virtual marketplace where consumers can connect with farmers to find the products they want and easily order them.
Purdue Extension educator Roy Ballard says the food hub goes a step beyond local co-ops and farmers markets but isn’t intended to replace them.
“What this does, it gives those consumers who are not able to access those Saturday morning or Wednesday afternoon farmers markets, it gives them an opportunity to still have produce at their fingertips,” Ballard says.
Ballard says there are other food hubs developing in the Cincinnati and Terre Haute areas. He envisions hubs around the state that can work together.
“One hub servicing another, one hub helping another to source product that, because of a crop failure, they couldn’t have some interaction and collaboration of the hubs,” Ballard says.
Ballard says the Central Indiana Food Hub is expected to have its online stage up and running by April or May of next year.