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Local food hub attracts interest

Local food hub attracts interest

More than 30 buyers from restaurants, institutions and grocery stores attend Dakota Fresh receptions.

Dakota Fresh – South Dakota's first food hub – is on track to open its door next year. In July it held a series of receptions with potential customers.

Dakota Fresh, a limited liability company owned by farmers, will aggregate, market and distribute local farmers food products to restaurants, institutions and grocers in the region.

More than 30 potential buyers attended the four Dakota Fresh receptions Sioux Falls, Brookings, Wagner and Yankton in July.

Local food hub attracts interest

"Buyers came from a wide range of entities including independent restaurants, schools, grocers, bakeries, Senior meal services, catering services, and businesses providing food for large companies," said Kari O'Neill, South Dakota State University Extension development field specialist.  "Potential buyers expressed an interest in purchasing local foods on a regular basis from the hub, and in making sure the supply will be as consistent and high quality as possible."

The next steps to making the hub a reality will include searching for a part-time food hub manager who will be the key communicator, marketer and deliverer of the product, and locating a warehouse site to aggregate food, O'Neill said.

Key partners assisting with the start-up of Dakota Fresh include; SDSU Extension, Dakota Rural Action, South Dakota Specialty Producers, South Dakota Department of Agriculture and USDA Rural Development.

For more information, contact O'Neill at 605-685-6972 or kari.oneill@sdstate.edu.

Source: SDSU Extension

TAGS: Extension
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