Local food, local farmers

Illinois is increasing markets for local foods. By creating “food hubs,” or processing and distribution centers where independent, local farmers can market their products to larger entities (schools, government agencies), making locally-grown food more widely available.

To help meet food demand, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has partnered with the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), FamilyFarmed.org, and the University of Illinois’ Business Innovation Services to create a guidebook, “Building Successful Food Hubs: A Business Planning Guide for Aggregating and Processing Local Food in Illinois.” The guidebook will serve as a resource on how to establish food hubs. DCEO has already invested in several early food hub projects

around Illinois. DCEO Director Ribley also announced a new website to help farmers find the way to larger market channels. For more information about the website, please visit http://isupply.illinois.edu/. The guidebook is also available to download for free at www.FamilyFarmed.org.