It’s like breathing, eating is something we have done since we were born. It is a simple activity that has been mastered over the years, but it can be difficult to learn how to eat well. Ryan Pierson is the director of the Good Food Collective, and a member of the Headwater Food Hub leadership group. He is well-versed in the complex issues that plague our modern food system.
Pierson states, “In chasing money and abstract ideas about nutrition that ultimately benefit small-scale producers and food businesses, we have forgotten the essence of food and how to get it.” Pierson says that food is one thing that touches many people, economically and socially.
Pierson estimates that $500 million is spent annually on food. Even though our region is rich in soil and has a long agricultural tradition, less than 2 percent of it is used for local goods.
Pierson questions, “How can we create a food system which pushes the needle up to 10 percent and puts $50 million back into the farmers’ pockets?” Imagine the economic impact of moving that needle to 40%.
The solution to such complex issues is paradoxically so simple that it seems absurd: eat local, minimally processed foods. Headwater Food Hub is dedicated to making these foods more accessible.
Headwater Food Hub, a Wholesale Distributor
Headwater Food Hub, a wholesale distributor of food, is located in Wayne County, New York. It connects producers and farmers with private and commercial customers. It manages the supply chain logistics, aggregation and distribution as well as sales for a farm network that is based in Wayne County, Rochester, and the Finger Lakes region. However, it also reaches statewide with a few distributors in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
Headwater is a food distribution company that promotes social and environmental responsibility. Headwater’s business model is different headwater food hub from industry norms. All efforts are aligned to meet the needs of the community and region.
Headwater Food Hub coordinated the supply chain of local farmers to sell produce directly to Wayne County schools. Headwater receives all the produce and repackages it for distribution. Headwater takes bulk quantities from the farmers, creates pack specifications for different sizes wholesale customers, and also stores the items long-term (e.g. For distribution during winter months, potatoes, carrots and garlic are all available at Headwater. Headwater also purchases cabbage, carrots, and daikon from several farmers. The produce is then sent to a processor who makes slaw for Headwater to be sold later.
Pierson states, “We believe it’s important for the local food movement to move beyond the boutique, seasonal mentality.” “We are building a food system that connects people to local foods.
Headwater’s service allows larger organizations like restaurants, schools and institutions to buy from local farmers. Farmers are not equipped to deliver ready-to-eat crop to multiple locations. Headwater bridges this gap.