Proposed NE Washington Regional Food Hub

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During our current election campaign period, some conflicting information has circulated about the proposed NE Washington Regional Food Hub.

The facts are:
  • Neither USDA nor FDA was involved in the planning of this regional food hub. Neither USDA nor FDA would be involved in the implementation of it. The proposed NE Washington Regional Food Hub would be planned and operated by NE Washington residents and organizations.
  • This project proposal was developed by a team of local community organizations with the input of local farmers, ranchers, orchardists, business owners, and community leaders. Leading the discussion and proposal development are Tri-County Development District (TEDD), Washington State University Stevens County Extension, Providence Health Care, and Community Ag Development Center (CADC). A list of participants is included in Appendix A and Appendix B of the proposal below.
  • The proposed regional food hub would not reduce the markets or income of our local producers. In fact, it would augment and increase both, providing new resources at the same time.
  • No producers would be forced to sell products through the regional food hub. It would be entirely voluntary. However, most of those interviewed are very interested in participating.
  • No producers would be put out of business. In fact, many are interested in increasing production to meet more market demand created by a food hub. Additionally, new producers would arise from current backyard and small farmers who would like to produce one or more products for our area if they could market through a food hub.
  • None of our wonderful farmers markets would be shut down or replaced. A food hub would not compete with farmers markets. In fact, farmers market leaders and vendors have been very involved in the food hub feasibility study phase.
  • No home bakeries operating under the WSDA (Washington State Department of Agriculture) Cottage Kitchen or Processing Kitchen permits would be affected.

Following is an excerpt from the official proposal, with clearly defined goal:

Goal of This Project: Enhance storage and distribution of healthful food for the economically disadvantaged in our
area, enable growth for small working farms and our regional food production industry, and provide a venue for food based community and economic growth.

Click here to read the complete proposal presented to the Colville City Council on September 30, 2014.