New food hub connects the local vegetable stand to biggest restaurant brands

Dec. 20, 2016 | by S.A. Whitehead
New food hub connects the local vegetable stand to biggest restaurant brands

Restaurateurs hoping for a central, tech-connected marketplace linking small local farmers to the skyrocketing number of restaurants, whose customers are demanding them, are getting their wish via a partnership between Aggrigator and Alba Organics.

The Aggrigator Farm to Shelf Marketplace not only connects fresh produce users with local farmers, it also allows those farmers better access to large distributors and their technologies, which helps smaller operations to better manage on-line order processing, inventory flow, transportation and delivery, according to a company press release.

In short, the food hub brings many more potential players to this expanding market, while giving those burgeoning providers access to the pipeline that has until now, largely been the strict domain of large corporate food producers. 

The current trend for food service to "buy local" has been hampered by the challenge of connecting the many smaller farmers with the kind of larger-scale customers best equipped to keep them in business. This type of hub goes a long way in answering that problem, while also allowing those small business people on the farms to better connect and respond to what restaurants most need, Alba Board Chairman Edward Moncrief, said in the release.

A possible food safety problem-solver, too
Just as important to filling that demand for local produce, is the equally pressing need for restaurants to ensure the safety and regulatory compliance of every player in their food supply chain. That can be quite difficult when dealing with numerous small farmers. 

This aggregator marketplace, however, gives both parties access to the critical cooling, quality,  safety, inventory control and distribution assurances and tools needed to comply fully with all safety demands to keep food supplies safe, Moncrief said. The Aggrigator Marketplace connects farmers with all parts of the supply chain from food hubs and coolers to warehouses, transporters and restaurant brands, even in sub-pallet scale distribution via marketplace technologies.

"Alba's partnership with Aggrigator and its ecommerce platform is our first use of agricultural technology," Moncrief said. "It's a great opportunity for our small-scale farmers to connect directly through the platform to the broader fruit and vegetable marketplace."

Photo source: iStock

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Customer Service / Experience, Food Safety, Sustainability

S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, Shelly Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of and after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

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