Frequently Asked Questions
Catskills Food Hub (the Hub) is a non-profit organization working with Regional Producers and Buyers to expand distribution and purchasing opportunities in Sullivan County and the surrounding region.
Located in Liberty, New York, the Hub offers access to Local Food Marketplace, an online sales platform with delivery options available for wholesale buyers. For the Producer, the Hub also offers access to training and educational programs meant to increase capacity and marketing opportunities. For the Buyer, the Hub provides a seamless transaction for multiple-producer orders and convenient pick-up and delivery options.
The Hub is governed by a Board of Directors and Executive Director committed to improving the viability of local agriculture, access to fresh food, and health outcomes for Sullivan County and the region.
Q: WHO DOES THE CATSKILLS FOOD HUB SERVE?
A. Any producer or processor of local and regional farm and food products is invited / eligible to use the Hub. A Producer is one who grows or processes local and regional farm and food products. Once eligibility has been met, that Producer is invited to use the Hub. Sullivan County and neighboring / regional areas in New York, and Pennsylvania represent our core service area. The Hub will enable Producers to focus on growing rather than spending time moving their product to market. Currently the intended market includes wholesale Buyers such as restaurants, grocery and retail stores, hotels, schools and other institutions.
Q: HOW DOES IT WORK?
A. The Hub offers free access to our online sales software, Local Food Marketplace (LFM), where Producers can post descriptions of their farms, products, productions methods, as well as their available weekly inventory available. Buyers can then use the software to order products for their businesses, contact producers, and learn more about each product. Part of our mission at the Hub is to “match-make” Producers to Buyers to help facilitate sales.
Once a sales cycle has closed LFM will alert the Producer via email of their orders on a “Pick Ticket”. The Producers will then deliver product to the Hub in the timeframe agreed upon by the Hub and Producer each week. After the orders are received the Hub will aggregate and sort orders for each delivery route and deliver them based on the schedule set by the Hub in cooperation with the individual Buyers.
Q WHEN CAN WE SIGN UP?
A. You can sign up now! Catskills Food Hub will launch a pilot season of local operations in Spring 2019. The purpose of the pilot season is to help understand the needs of both Producers and Buyers, so that we can meet industry demands efficiently and effectively.
To get started, please log on to the Hub website and take a Producer or Buyer survey. The Hub staff will follow up with a phone call within 2 days of receiving your survey If a decision is made to work together, the Hub will guide you through the on-boarding process and you will be asked to complete and submit a Producer/Buyer agreement outlining the understanding of our work together.
Pilot season routes will begin deliveries in mid-April. If it is not possible to accommodate your location on our pilot route, Buyers are still welcome to order and pick up at our facility in Liberty.
Q: WHAT DOES IT COST?
A: Rates and fees are kept to a minimum. In order to cover operating costs, the Hub will build in an 18% margin/markup on top of the wholesale prices listed by Producer.
Producers set their own wholesale pricing. The Hub can provide pricing guidance, but farmers are encouraged to calculate their costs and research market pricing.
Q: WHEN DROPPING OFF ORDERS AT THE HUB, WHAT HAPPENS IF THEY ARE NOT WASHED AND PACKED PROPERLY?
A: It is asked that you follow our guidelines for packaging all orders sold through the Hub. If your product is not washed and packed properly, it will be sent back.
We will have boxes and totes for sale on site and can assist new Producers with uniformity and standards during the on-boarding process. Wash & Pack training will be provided free at the Hub in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County.
Q: CAN I STORE PRODUCTS AT THE HUB?
A: Producers who have a product with a longer shelf-life (two weeks or more), dry goods, or frozen goods, have the option of leasing pallet space in the dry goods area, coolers or freezer. The Hub can list inventory from stored pallets on LFM and pull from that inventory as orders come in.
Storage fees will be charged from the date of move-in and renewed on the 1st of each month. Please contact the Hub directly for cooler, freezer and dry storage fees.
Q: HOW WILL I RECEIVE PAYMENT AS A PRODUCER?
A: Producers will receive payment via check or Electronic Funds Transfer. These payments are issued once monthly via USPS or the web. Checks will be mailed via USPS unless other arrangements for pickup are made. Valid ID will be required to pick up your check at the Hub.
Q: WILL MY FARM LOSE ITS IDENTITY BY SELLING OUR PRODUCTS THROUGH CATSKILLS FOOD HUB?
A: No. All products sold through the Catskills Food Hub will remain source-identified by the farm of origin.
Q: WITH THE CATSKILLS FOOD HUB HELP MARKET MY PRODUCTS?
A: Yes. The Hub will help to broker and facilitate sales of products posted to the online marketplace.
Q: AS A BUYER, WHEN DO I PLACE ORDERS AND WHEN CAN I EXPECT SHIPMENT?
A. See current schedule at bottom of page
Q: IS THERE A MINIMUM TO ORDER THROUGH THE HUB?
A: The minimum for orders is $150 for Buyers. The Hub understands that some Producers may need to set their own personal order minimums in order to make it worth their time to deliver to the Hub. The Hub will work to ensure that these minimums are met, keeping in mind the needs of both Producer and Buyer.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A WEATHER-RELATED INCIDENT ON DELIVERY DAY?
A: If delivery cannot be made due to dangerous driving conditions businesses will be notified via EMAIL of the next possible delivery time (generally the next business day).
Q: HOW WILL THE PRODUCTS BE TRANSPORTED FOR DELIVERY?
A: The Hub operates and delivers with refrigerated sprinter vans for safe, quality transportation from the Hub to the Buyer. A Hub employee will deliver your order directly.
Q: HOW DOES THE HUB HELP BUYERS?
A: The Hub can connect you to your favorite Producers and expand access to products available in our region, all delivered to your business, and listed on one invoice. The Hub offers their expert staff for questions regarding product listings, grading, availability and more.
Do you have other questions that were not Answered here? Feel free to reach out to Cat Wilson, Executive Director 845.807.3735
Spring 2019 Schedule
Producer Drop-offs, Product Deliveries, and Buyer Pick-up Times!
Subject to change or expansion in Summer 2019, dependent upon demand.