CLF Ventures, in partnership with Wholesome Wave, conducted the New England Food Hub Site Suitability Analysis to identify optimal locations for fruit/vegetable and seafood food hubs in New England. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to create weighted models that consider supply, need, infrastructure, and demand factors, the Analysis recommends food hub locations based on both the products they sell and the kinds of activities they pursue:
- First-mile hubs aggregate products close to the site of production and process to preserve freshness, flavor, nutrients, etc.
- Last-mile hubs process products for convenience and/or to meet buyers’ needs (e.g., packaging food into individualized portions for a school food service).
Created to inform and enhance state- and regional-level discussions about food hub placement and food system development, the models and information provided in this analysis can help food entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers frame their decisions on the placement, design, and support for food hubs in underserved areas of New England.