The Bangor Food Hub Consortium convened in 2014 under the auspices of the Business Action Committee of Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce and includes representatives from:
|City of Bangor||Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce|
|Farm to Institution New England||Good Shepherd Food Bank|
|City of Old Town||Town of Orono|
|Orono Economic Development Corp||RSU 26 (Orono schools)|
|University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service||University of Maine Culinary Services|
|University of Maine Office of Innovation and Economic Development|
The consortium sought an analysis of the demand in institutions, restaurants, school systems, and other entities that purchase and serve food in large quantities for locally grown and produced food products, within a 50-mile radius of Bangor.
With generous support from the Maine Community Foundation, the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation, the Town of Orono and the Orono Economic Development Corporation, the City of Old Town, and Good Shepherd Food Bank, the consortium hired Maine Farmland Trust to undertake the feasibility study.
While the overall level of unsatisfied demand among institutional and other food service entities is significant, purchasing behavior is in the form of relatively small weekly amounts per entity; institutional buyers project increased procurement in weekly purchases of 100 pounds or less in most categories. (The outliers remain meat, poultry, apples, and salad greens; weekly orders for these items frequently project in the range of 100-500 pounds.) These small volumes, spread over many potential customers, represent logistical challenges for managing and meeting orders that contributes to higher distribution costs for centralized suppliers.
The feasibility study found that a scalable, decentralized model – such as might be achieved through a system of farm-based aggregators – is the kind of system that would better respond to this demand.