When you go to a supermarket, everything seems so orderly, stocked neatly on shelves, in bins and in coolers. But behind the scenes, getting food from farm to factory to grocery store fridge — a process known as supply chain management — can be complicated and messy. While some of the bigger food businesses handle supply chain internally, many others, including smaller and start-up businesses turn to the expertise of consultants with years of experience. One of these is Will Madden, co-founder of Chicago-based Whole Brain Consulting. FamilyFarmed interview Will about his business’ origins, why food businesses need contract manufacturers, the biggest supply chain challenges… and why he made the highest bid for a CEO yacht cruise on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan that was a silent auction prize at last April’s Frontera 30th Anniversary Celebration.
Farms running community supported agriculture businesses, or CSAs, have multiplied across the United States in recent years. Under this practice, farms are able to raise revenues for their plantings by selling subscriptions to consumers, who receive boxes of products from the farm over the course of the season. Now the concept has spread to another food sector: sustainable seafood. And, as this article about southwest Oregon shows, businesses and other economic development boosters are working together to build a growing seafood market.
Variety is the word for the field of five finalists in the Food to Market Challenge. This competition will award $500,000 to the team deemed to have proposed the best solution to a problem affecting the supply chain for local and sustainable food in the Chicago region.
There is a strongly held belief in the Good Food movement that local food can spur both urban and rural revitalization, and that vision is getting clearer in the state of Kentucky. Louisville has led the way with a strategic focus on finding and connecting entrepreneurs along the regional supply chain from farm to table.