RFSA supports farmers' markets and other local venues, but growing food for direct sales is only one step to making it available to local consumers. The existing food processing, distribution, and warehousing system focused on large-scale volume is hard for small-scale local growers to access. RFSA's priority is expanding food hub and processing infrastructure to ensure a local-to-local farm-to-fork system.
Priorities and Actions
Food processing and hubs. Work with existing distribution, processing, and cold storage facilities for fuller capacity. Actions:
Fox Farm small-scale food hub for Riverside Food Co-op operations; and
Riverside Unified School District pilot food hub.
Cooperatives. Foster the growth of cooperatives and other collective organizational models for producers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Actions:
Kiva crowd-funding for Fox Farm food hub;
Riverside Food Co-op Monthly Member Crop Box; and
HEAL Zone/Riverside Food Co-op partnership for Al Centro mini-Produce Stand.
Support direct sales. Encourage support for existing farmers' markets and creating new markets. Actions:
Local Guide marketing;
New farmers' markets at Riverside County Medical Center (Moreno Valley), Lemon and 10th Street (Riverside), and UC Riverside.
Cottage food businesses. Develop a cottage business program to encourage value-added food products. Actions:
Cottage Food promotions at GrowRIVERSIDE Community Gatherings