Questions about selling with Kent Food Hubs.

What makes Kent Food Hubs different?

We're creating an alternative way of shopping that allows people in Kent to do good for themselves, their families, the community and our planet. We want to give local people the opportunity to spend their money in a way that feels positive, rather than a weekly chore at a supermarket. Our Statement of Ethics explains our approach in full.

What is Kent Food Hubs?

Kent Food Hubs is a social enterprise and cooperative that allows the people of Kent to buy fresh food food from local producers through online markets - all at affordable prices.

Why should I sell through Kent Food Hubs?

With Kent Food Hubs, you don't have to sell at the price that the wholesaler or retailer provides. You're free to set your own prices, and we'll add as little markup onto your products as possible. We're the only marketplace in Kent where you'll have access to so many consumers who want to leave supermarkets behind, and you'll be able to join our network, where you can get support and help to change the food system for the better.

What is an order cycle?

Check out our explanation on the terminology page.

What is a statement of intent?

The statement of intent relates the trader’s business and operations to the principles of Kent Food Hubs (see Ethics statement). It shows how the trader complies with KFHs’ minimum trading standards (that apply to the trader) and how the trader is planning to embody KFHs’ principles over the next 1-5 years. Find some more detailed information here.

What are trader circles?

A trader circle is a group of traders from across Kent who work together. We encourage you to share deliveries with other traders to minimise food miles, and to share knowledge to improve your offering to the Kent community.

What are hub circles?

Find out on our terminology page.

What is the Open Food Network?

The Open Food Network is an e-commerce platform which allows you to sell your produce online at a price that works for you. By using this platform, we're supporting a global community of technologists that are passionate about the same things as we are. Check them out.

Where can I find the Open Food Network's Terms of Service?

The terms of service are here.

How do I describe my products on the platform? What should I be aware of?

You should provide an accurate description of your products that includes things like size and appearance. You can offer cosmetically imperfect products if you provide a fair and accurate description (e.g. Bramley apples, have been stored for 4 months, some wrinkling and marking of the skin but flesh unblemished and good cooking quality).

You should clearly communicate any applicable certification such as Fair Trade, Linking Environment and Farming (LEAF), Organic, Demeter, etc. If you're working to some high standards but don't have certification, then you should clearly state them (e.g. spray free, permaculture used, soil regeneration practices used). We reserve the right to ask you to remove any false or inaccurate claims.

Can I impose minimum orders per hub or order cycle?

Hub coordinators can advise on how best to balance your own interests with those of the consumer. It's important that consumers' orders are fulfilled most of the time to keep up the demand.

Sharing deliveries to the hubs with other producers can help to keep your costs down, reducing the need to impose minimum orders. Our Hub Coordinators will work with you to help you find collaborative ways of working that allow you to make a decent profit.

What if I can't deliver or the product is unavailable for unforeseen reasons?

We'll refund the customer and you won't be paid for the product/s.

Why do KFHs personnel need to visit me?

We want to know about our traders - your practices, your barriers and your successes. Having a good relationship with our traders allows us to share knowledge and expertise, and to make sure that we're all upholding the principles of Kent Food Hubs.

What is an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and why should I attend?

The AGM allows members to vote in directors, and to vote on major changes to the operations of the hub. The AGM is also a forum for members to decide on changes to membership fees, and how trading surpluses should be spent. Directors will also report on learnings and progess at the AGM.

What are minimum trading standards and who sets them?

Minimum trading standards are part of our approach to ethics within Kent Food Hubs. We've explained this fully in our Statement of Ethics.

Each trader sets out their aspirations and current practices in their statement of intent. The current practices need to comply with our minimum trading standards. These minimum trading standards set out the things that we consider not acceptable practice. These standards are set by groups of experienced traders who will aim for the highest standards possible, also taking into account profitability concerns and the particularities of the Kent food and economic system. Kent Food Hubs is working to gradually raise these standards over time. Find more information here:

Why do I have to make an offering to the KFHs community (like an open day, workshop, farm walk or similar)?

This sets us apart from supermarkets. It also helps us to create more resilient (food) communities, which is much easier to achieve when there's a trusting relationship between producers/traders and consumers. The better the consumers understand what a producer/trader is trying to achieve, the more likely they are to support and continue to support them.

How do I get paid? And how much do I get paid?

You'll be paid within seven days of delivery day. You'll still be paid even if consumers don't show up to collect their order on pickup day.

You set your own price, so you'll be paid 100% of that price. KFHs adds a mark up, which is 10% per product for consumer and supporter members and 12% for everyone else. This contributes to the running of the hubs, like paying the software fees and fees for the hub coordinators.

What prices do I set my products at?

This depends on many different factors. You can set the price you need to make it worth producing, and then see how you go. You're welcome to change the price until you find something that works.

Some traders choose to sell their products at a certain retail price. To set this, remember that KFHs will add 10% (for consumer and supporter members) and 12% for (non-members).

Trader Price + 10%/12% = Retail Price

What about taking holidays?

You can take holidays at any time, as long as you keep your stock lists and availability each order up to date. You don't have to offer products every order cycle. Seasonal and very small or occasional producers are welcome!