Infrastructure and Marketing: Hudson Valley farms and food businesses are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the largest food market in the country. But years of decline in farms and farmland have left gaps in the basic infrastructure that is needed to maintain and grow our local food system. To address these gaps and build a more resilient local food economy, we’re directing money towards the physical and human capital needed to help farmers and food businesses better produce and market their products. One example: We helped to facilitate an investment in Farm to Table Co-Packers in Kingston, NY, which is the only locally-focused food processor of its kind within a 250-mile radius of the Hudson Valley. We commissioned a report (“Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative”) to identify the specific needs throughout the Hudson Valley, the most critical being infrastructure investment both on farms and for value-added processing. It also identified promising opportunities to connect local producers to new markets, including larger wholesale markets such as retail and institutions. Since releasing the report, we have stepped up our efforts to:
- Coordinate with other funders and investors to identify innovative ways to finance infrastructure consistent with our impact investing initiative.
- Help local businesses market their products through our Farm-to-Institution NYS (FINYS) and farm-to-school projects.
- Encourage farmers and food businesses across product sectors, from dairy to produce to meat to grain.
READ MORE about these and other areas of our Food Hubs work.