Mid-Atlantic Food Port Feasibility Study
July 18, 2019
In January of 2019, 4P Foods and Food Works Group published An Assessment of the Mid-Atlantic Food Port Concept and Economic Impact on Rural Economic Development. The report is a study on the feasibility of a Mid-Atlantic Food Port that assesses the advancement of our region’s food and agriculture sector.
Research was focused on existing agricultural, processing, and distribution assets from around the country, 77 interviews with regional stakeholders, and more than 220 online survey responses. Findings indicate that there is a high demand for new infrastructure and technology solutions along the supply chain — farmers, processors, distributors, and purchasers — as well as the food systems practitioners that support each group’s work.
The study assessed the primary gaps in the Mid-Atlantic supply chain that prevent small-scale local and regional producers from reaching markets. Identified are two main processing needs that prevent the distribution of local food: 1) The processing needs for small-scale local producers, specifically poultry and livestock processing 2) The co-manufacturing and co-packing crops into value-added products.
Currently, the U.S. food system is dominated by large, industrial, and international players, disadvantaging small farmers, our environment, and eaters alike. Farmers shouldn’t face the burden of feeding our region alone. Consumers lacking access to local and healthy food options shouldn’t struggle to feed their families. To advance small-scale local and family farmers and producers, there is a need for an innovative solution. Data indicates that building and coordinating a network model for food hubs, co-ops, and others along the supply chain to co-manufacture and co-pack crops into value-added products will have a positive impact across the entire Mid-Atlantic regional food system.
Thanks to 4P Foods' new partnership with the PATH Foundation and our recent acquisition of the wholesale distribution arm of Local Food Hub, we are expanding our infrastructure and our distribution in an efficient and scalable, cost-effective way. Funding from the PATH Foundation grant will enable 4P Foods to build a new food hub facility in early 2020.
To learn more about plans for 4P Foods new food hub facility thanks in part to the PATH Foundation, read the press release in the Fauquier Times.