Yesterday, we heard from the Director of the Pee Dee Food Hub in Marion County, South Carolina on the progress the business has made in just two years. While the original mission has evolved some, and continues to do so, the primary focus remains the same; working with farmers to bring fresh food to consumers:
“Well, we deal with everything. I mean we deal with, of course, the fruits that we grow within South Carolina, which is basically your peaches, we have some mandarin oranges, we have a small amount of those, we do all your berries; your strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Of course, all the different melons which kind of fall in between all those, the fruits and vegetables, but we deal with all of those, all of your standard produce.
“Right now, we’ve crop planned for about 30 different kinds of produce.”
When talking about a food hub, produce is the first think most think about, but Martin says they’re beginning to branch out into proteins as well:
“Yes, we do. As a matter of fact, we’ve just started delivering eggs. We have a grower that’s using organic feed and free-range chickens and so we’ve added eggs, and we have the opportunity to do some other things moving forward. So, that will be options, where we started with the produce side, taking it one step at a time, and working very, very closely with all the regulations, and the traceability and the food safety aspect of things.”
Martin reiterates that the Pee Dee Food Hub is a service for farmers:
“The biggest thing is that we do sales, marketing, aggregation, delivery and customer service for the farmers. So, we really represent the farmers, and that’s what our customers want, that’s what they’re looking for. As we put the farmer in the spotlight, we’re just kind of the service side of it in the background to help connect the farmers, the local farmers, with that good, fresh quality product to those local customers that are looking for those type items.”
For more information on the Pee Dee Food Hub in Marion County, South Carolina visit their website; www.peedeefoodhub.com.
Jody Martin, Director of the Pee Dee Food Hub.