The third of April 2019 will forever be a key date in the history of the Cambridge Food Hub as this was the date that we did our first ever deliveries.
The pilot phase of the Food Hub project officially began two weeks earlier, when we moved in to the ‘hatchery’ at Allia’s Future Business Centre on Kings Hedges Rd. Since then we have been familiarising ourselves with the Open Food Network trading platform, populating our online shopfront with the first of our producers’ product lines, and registering the first buyers on the system.
The very first product range to be uploaded to the Food Hub shopfront is the Hodmedod’s range of British grown dried peas and beans. We love the Hodmedod’s brand because their products represent one of the most environmentally friendly dietary options; plant-based protein from local fields. It’s fitting that the first products delivered by the Food Hub, which has environmental sustainability as its main purpose, would be Hodmedod’s. Over the coming weeks more product ranges will be added to the shop front, with the key focuses being local and environmental sustainability.
The first two local retailers to place an order and receive deliveries were Cambridge Cheese Company in All Saints Passage, and Radmore Farm Shop on Mitchams Corner. We’re so pleased that these two much-loved, local independent food retailers became the first establishment that we served. Jacky Sutton Adam, owner of Cambridge Cheese Company, was actually present at the very first Food Hub meeting around 5 years ago (blimey, doesn’t time fly), and Ben Aveling of Radmore Farm Shop is a committee member of the Food Hub’s progenitor organisation, Cambridge Sustainable Food.
To begin with, and to keep things simple while we are still learning the ropes, we will just be working with ambient goods. However, by the time the summer season starts the Food Hub we hope to start handling fresh produce as well. This is when things will get really exciting as shops, restaurants, colleges and schools in and around Cambridge will be able to purchase fresh vegetables directly from local farms. We will also introduce some of our novel food supply chain management concepts, leading to reduced food waste and better access to healthy fresh food for low-income communities.