Food Hub: Cultivating a Local Economy From The Portland Slow Food Newsletter: Here at Slow Food Portland, we are constantly amazed by the vibrant local food economy springing up around us. Packed farmers markets and an ever increasing assortment of local produce that fills our grocery shelves and restaurant menus seem to herald a new dawn for local, sustainable agriculture. Yet every year farmers, ranchers and fishermen continue to go out of business, many from having not found a viable method for accessing and profiting from the burgeoning local food market. That's what gets us excited about Food Hub, a new tool developed by local non profit, Ecotrust. A new online database that launched this week, Food Hub is a directory and marketplace that makes it easy for regional food buyers and sellers to find each other, connect and do business. “FoodHub is designed to be a user-friendly, one-stop-shop for the chef who needs six dozen artichokes for a menu special, the baker looking for a local source for flour, or the large institutional food buyer whose purchasing power could significantly stabilize a family farm,” said Deborah Kane, vice president of Ecotrust’s Food and Farms program. Local farmers, restaurateurs, and institutional buyers from hospitals, schools, colleges and grocery stores can check out the website to learn more. From now until December 31st, those who join receive 20% off the annual membership fee. For all of us in the general public of eaters, this could mean many more delicious local products in our restaurants, cafeterias, and grocery stores. Bon appétit!