How the Food Hub Works: The Basics
- The Kenai Peninsula Food Hub strives to be a business that is financially viable, environmentally sustainable, and socially just.
- Membership in the Hub is $40 for producers and $20 for consumers annually. Membership fees go toward expenses the Food Hub incurs in the administration, aggregation, and sales of the food. Examples of these expenses are staff time, advertising, and monthly web marketplace fees.
- The Food Hub marks-up products sold 25%. While grocery stores typically double their cost of products to consumers, Food Hub producers set their own prices based on our 25% mark-up.
The Kenai Peninsula Food Hub is a non-profit venture. The markup percentage will be re-evaluated annually based on the overall volume of the program and how close we are to breaking even. Our goal is to develop a sustainable pricing strategy that will be fair to producers and keep the food hub successful beyond the USDA grant funded period.
- Volunteer labor helps run the Hub and keeps overhead costs low. Please consider volunteering your time to help the cooperative grow and prosper.
- Every member of the cooperative is eligible to buy products from, and sell products to, every other member; as long as the producer meets the Food Hub’s Producer Guidelines and has been approved as a vendor.
- Producers are strongly encouraged to disclose the practices used to raise livestock/shellfish, harvest seafood, and grow crops to other members of the Food Hub. In this way consumer members can make informed purchasing decisions about producers and products offered. Full disclosure of growing, farming and production practices forms the basis of trust between the producer and consumer members of the cooperative.
- Producers may only sell products they themselves have grown, processed, harvested or crafted. A producer may not buy wholesale from someone else and then retail the product through the Food Hub.
- Producer members may only sell value-added products that they themselves make. Purchasing ingredients for value-added products is permitted. Value-added products must use as many ingredients as possible produced by the member, or purchased from Alaskan farmers. Simply changing the form in which the product is offered for sale, such as repackaging into a smaller size, does not add value and is not permitted.
- Every producer member is responsible to know and be in compliance with all appropriate federal, state and local inspections, licenses, statutes and ordinances. Producers must follow all labeling and permitting procedures outlined in the Food Hub policy, and by federal, state, and local policy.
- Each completed order is a legally enforceable contract to pick up and pay for the products ordered, unless the products are damaged, broken, or deliverable. Ordering windows will be pre-determined and publicized to all members.
- Producers are responsible for dropping off product and picking up their orders during the times specified. Distribution location and time will be pre-determined and publicized to all members.
- Customers are responsible for ensuring they receive all items ordered and for carefully checking their invoices. All product orders must be paid at the time of ordering by credit card; Quest users must pay onsite with card (until online purchases are approved by the USDA); additional purchases, like Food Hub tote bags and membership fees may be paid onsite with credit card. Prompt payment is a condition of membership.
Quality, honesty, professionalism and consistency are what will make customers happy and individual farmers successful. Successful farmers and satisfied customers will make the market successful for all. It all starts with YOU!!!