The recent increase in demand for regionally produced food has resulted in a need for more efficient distribution methods. To connect regional food producers and consumers, intermediated regional food supply networks have developed. The intermediary, known as a regional food hub, serves as an aggregation point for products and information. It may also act as a filter to ensure that the requirements of both producers and consumers are consistently met. This paper describes an empirically based agent-based model of a regional food network in central Iowa that is intermediated by a food hub. The model was used to test a variety of sourcing policies that could be implemented by the food hub manager to improve operations. Results indicate that policies that protect producers from competition may have negative consequences for consumer satisfaction.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_stone/30/