Global Food Initiative
GFI Fellow - Class of 2015
Graduate Student, Epidemiology
University of California Global Food Initiative Food Hub Workgroup
The University of California Global Food Initiative Food Hub workgroup sought to describe the current state of the food system within Los Angeles, with a focus on food hub structures, distribution and market demand in Santa Monica. The group sought to provide baseline descriptive research for stakeholders to identify market opportunities and guide future research areas. Recommendations for redefining and achieving economic sustainability for small and mid-size farmers in the regional food system also are identified.
Different conclusions were drawn in reference to food hubs’ current and future viability depending on the interviewee's position within the food system. While food hubs were generally viewed as a positive alternative to the conventional food system, many barriers were identified for small and mid-size farmers. Those representing institutions and policy groups reported more optimistic and opportunistic feedback, while farmers were more critical and skeptical of the food hub structure.
There are no concrete future plans of involvement at this time. Two of the group members have graduated and I am unsure of when I will be on UCLA's campus during the next two years due to overseas research. I would be interested in future involvement at an individual level if some aspect of the project could be correlated with the research ongoing in my program.
Wendy Slusser and Lee Cooper