What is Kent Food Hubs CIC?

We are a whole range of things and we got great ambitions for Kent and the food system at large.

Our mission

Kent Food Hubs works to make it convenient for people to make the right choice. The Kent Food Hubs enable people to support businesses that work in the interests of Kent communities and the planet at large.

Our aims

In facilitating access to local food and products, Kent Food Hubs aims to :

  • Enhance social, environmental and economic sustainability

  • Enabling all groups in society to access local, sustainably produced and healthy food

  • Foster sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods in local communities in Kent

  • Strengthen local resilience in Kent; including through food security

  • Enable community building and develop food culture

  • Support producers and processors whose practices respect and regenerate our environment

  • Provide valuable experiences and learning for members

  • Enable people to work together democratically to be responsible for and participate in their food system

  • Increase understanding of and support for the local economy and build supportive links between producers and consumers

  • Co-operate with similar enterprises

How it works

Kent Food Hubs (KFHs) offers online marketplaces to producers, processors, artisans, and consumers in Kent. Producers, processors, and artisans get in touch with KFHs (or vice versa) and an agreement is made about them selling through KFHs. They set up their product catalogue on the Open Food Network and food hubs in Kent can start offering their products to consumers in Kent.

The consumers order, as they would in an online supermarket, their weekly shopping on their local food hub page. KFHs then ensures that the right products from the right suppliers are ready to collect for the consumer at the agreed date/time/location (or arrange for delivery of the order). This enables consumers to shop in a single place (as they would with a supermarket) but instead support local and more ethical suppliers (what they cannot do in a supermarket).

KFHs runs food hubs (in Kent) but also supports other food hubs that set up independently. As a cooperative we offer membership to food hubs so they can share the costs of accountants, insurance, training, and so on. The boundaries between running food hubs and supporting food hubs are fluent; in other words, each case will be considered in its own right and win-win relationships designed.

Additionally, as outlined in our aims (above), KFHs takes on responsibility for campaigning and educating for food system changes in Kent that increase local to global resilience.

Governance and incorporation

KFHs is constituted as a Community Interest Company (CIC) limited by shares. The directors of the KFHs CIC are made up of representatives of the trader membership, the hub coordinator membership, and the consumer/supporter memberships. The KFHs CIC is going to be governed in line with its memorandum and articles of association. These specify that the CIC is to be governed as a cooperative. We got some more detailed information here.