The Upstate South Carolina region is home to a growing variety and volume of local farm products but demand continues to outpace supply. This focus on local food is a national trend, with many cities and counties investigating how their local system can be strengthened. A robust, local food system provides a more active economy for new entrepreneurs and a healthier quality of life for residents.
The Greenville County Feasibility Study, a Case for an Upstate Food Hub, is a refinement of the need for a hub already identified in a 2013 Coastal Conservation League (CCL) study and is a partnership with Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension Service with support from CCL and Furman University's Shi Center for Sustainability. This report highlights the need for a central food market, or food hub, to help build a larger volume of local food for retail and institutional businesses.
The study started in October 2013 visiting farms within a 100-mile radius of Greenville. From more than 300 active farms in the area, the study concluded that 86% of our local farmers were willing to grow additional products. Some farms have as much as 40% additional land for production. A local food hub would act as an incubator to promote additional products to the market, and encourage our farmers to maximize production.