The Edible Economy vision is to establish a farmer-owned cooperative and a community-owned food hub. A food hub coordinates essential activities across the value chain and facilitates all parts of a community-based food system:
- Aggregating food from local farms
- Marketing to schools, restaurants, retailers, and other end users
- Actively coordinating supply chain logistics
- Networking with distributors, processors, and buyers
In addition, a food hub can provide business support services for farmers and other local food entrepreneurs. It can also provide places for community members to learn about healthy foods, as well as a laboratory for students to learn and practice marketable skills needed for jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities generated as our food system becomes more localized.
Our approach is based on the following concepts. Click on each link for a graphic providing additional information.
- CONNECT UP: Before we can scale up our local food economy, we need to build connections among food producers, buyers, and consumers—so they can more efficiently collaborate, aggregate and transport their products, and match supply to demand.
- SCALE UP: We are inspired by what other communities are doing to scale up their local food systems. These efforts help us see what is possible here in Central Illinois. One organization can’t do all of these things. It will take all of us working together and empowering each other.
- BUILD HEALTH: Healthy local economies create prosperous, resilient communities and personal, economic, and environmental well-being.
- BUILD WEALTH: A community-based food economy discovers and utilizes assets within the community FIRST, creating opportunities, jobs, and wealth that stay in the community and benefit the people who live there, enhancing health and quality of life.