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Online 'Food Hub' Connects Farmers With Buyers

A top federal agriculture official helped launch a web site in Portland this week intended to connect Northwest farmers with cafes and markets looking for locally grown food. Rob Manning reports.

Food hub, as it’s called, works like this: Farmers put up web pages that are part of a network, sort of like a facebook page. Only the farmers emphasize what they grow and when it’ll be available.

Wholesale customers – like chefs and food buyers for grocery stores – sign on and contact the farms when they find something they like.

Agriculture deputy undersecretary Ann Wright says the program matches supply with demand.

Ann Wright: “Food hub is all about making those connections and all about creating real income opportunities for ranchers and farmers. So it’s happening here – it’s probably a much more mature effort than it is other places around the country.”

Portland-based non-profit, Ecotrust, developed the web site. Officials say farms and buyers were already using the site to close sales – even though the web site only just launched officially, and it’s not really harvest time.