N8 AgriFood supports new policy guides to UK food hubs

Two policy documents have been co-authored by N8 AgriFood’s Knowledge Exchange Fellow Christian Reynolds following his work on one of the programme’s Pump Primed projects investigating the potential of food hubs.

Dr Reynolds, from the University of Sheffield, has co-written a Policy Discussion Paper and Policy Guidance Notes for the Food Research Collaboration; an initiative of the Centre for Food Policy at City University of London.

The discussion paper,entitled Food Hubs in the UK – Where are we and what next?, seeks to answer questions around what food hubs are, what they are for and why they are needed in the context of their proliferation in the UK.

The paper has been written for people who want to understand the role of multifunctional food hubs in the UK, or to determine whether a food hub (or what type of food hub) is appropriate for their locality and purposes.

The paper includes:

  • a discussion on what food hubs are and what makes them different to entities that perform similar functions in the mainstream, industrial food system,
  • the results of a survey that was carried out to map the forms of food hub currently in existence or being planned in the UK,
  • reflections on the US experience of food hubs and the implications for the UK
  • a summary of benefits and challenges of food hubs as identified through a workshop for practitioners and academics

The surveys drawn upon in the paper formed part of a N8 AgriFood pump primed project –  “Exploring the potential of Local Food Hubs in deprived areas: Enhancing Knowledge Exchange for developing best practice guidelines”,, which brought together an interdisciplinary team from Lancaster University, the University of Sheffield and Newcastle University.

Read the case study from the project HERE.