How It Works

FoodHub's many features make it easy for regional food buyers and sellers to find each other, connect and do business.

Getting Started



Watch the Video: Getting Started on FoodHub (2:58)
Signing up
To join FoodHub, simply click the orange [Join Now] button on the homepage, select your membership type (Buyer, Seller, Distributor or Associate) and account type (free FastStart, monthly Advantage, or annual All-Access).

Complete and submit the short registration form, then click the activation link when it arrives by auto-email (if you don’t receive the activation email, check your spam folder). That’s it! It’s quick and easy, and if you have trouble, you can always give us a call at 503-467-0816 or toll free at 855-FOODHUB.
Logging in
If your company is a registered member, click [Sign In] from the FoodHub homepage. Enter the email address and password associated with your account, then click [Log In]. Check the box next to “Keep me logged in” if you don’t want to have to sign in each time you visit.
Signing out
To end your FoodHub session, click the [Sign Out] link found in the upper-right corner of every page.

Your Profile


Watch the Video: Filling Out Your FoodHub Profile (2:05)

The basic information used to create your membership is already in your profile - editing or adding more information is easy! Each section of your profile has a blue [Edit] link by the section header; click those links to add content or edit each section.

Do these first: About Us, How to Do Business With Us, Products, Ratings

In the About Us section, write a description of your business, indicate whether you're interested in donating to emergency food assistance programs, list your business certifications or distinctions and note any associations you're currently a part of. You can also link to your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, or your Flickr photo album.

Use the next section to describe how to do business with you. Buyers: Do you prefer emails or calls? Sellers: What's the best time to place orders? In this section you can also list any distributors you work with. Is your distributor missing? Email us at meet@food-hub.org and we'll add them to the list.

The product section is where sellers list what they have to sell and buyers explain what they're foraging for. Just click on the blue [edit] button to select your products. You’ll be able to specify varieties, certifications and other important details.

Finally, you can build your reputation on FoodHub by rating and reviewing other Members with whom you've done business. Once approved, your reviews will appear at the bottom of the profiles. Click [edit] next to the Recommendations header to get started!

Buyers: Get the calls you want and find what you need!

Watch the Video: Buyers: Optimize Your FoodHub Profile (2:05)

A well-constructed profile can help you get the calls you want. Here are some tips for making foraging on FoodHub fast and easy:

Explain how you conduct business
The most important section on your entire profile as a buyer is "How to Do Business With Us". Be specific about when and how you'd like to be contacted, what days and times you prefer to take delivery, and any other important instructions or parameters important to doing business with you. Distribution is a critical piece of the local food puzzle, so list which distributors you use by checking the boxes next to all the distributors that handle your deliveries. Sellers whose products are already on a truck that stops at your kitchen will know that this could be an efficient connection for both of you.
List your products
To craft a profile that brings the RIGHT producers to you, populate the “Products We Buy” table. When a seller searches FoodHub for potential buyers, the ONLY way you will show up in their results is if you have attached that product to your profile. If you're looking for early-season asparagus, add asparagus to your product table. When that farmer in Eastern Oregon who has newly cultivated asparagus is looking for buyers your profile will pop up.
Maintain current contact information
Use the phone number and email address where you would like to receive SUPPLIER calls in the Primary Contact field.
Tell your story
Use the About Us section to explain your concept. The first few lines of this description show up in the Member Directory and will help suppliers get a quick grasp of your story.
Sellers: Add products to get found

Watch the Video: Sellers: Add products to get found (2:50)

You joined FoodHub to get found, and one of the most important tools to help you connect on FoodHub is your profile.

Adding products
You won’t show up in ANY product searches until you have products added to your profile. To get started, just click the blue [edit] link next to the Products header. Step through the process by first selecting a category like fruit, meat or dairy. Next, add the type of product within that category, such as apples, beef or goat's milk. Continue adding optional details as needed, such as varieties, certifications or claims. Many buyers create menus based on product availability by season so be sure and include that information here as well.
Editing or deleting products
If you want to add, delete or edit your products list just click the links to the right of each product. Edit all products in a certain category by clicking the [edit all] link at the bottom of each category list. You can also add products to a specific category by clicking on the blue [add products] link to right of the category title.
Tell your story
Use the About Us section to explain what makes you special, describe your location, note how long you've been in business, or express your business philosophy. Be sure to note any business certifications or affiliations and link to your Facebook Page or Twitter account if you use them. Update your contact information here as needed, and include a backup contact if there will be certain times the year when it might be hard for buyers to reach you.
Upgrading for more benefits
If you want to stand out from the crowd on FoodHub and get down to business with new connections quickly, consider upgrading to an Advantage or All-Access membership. Your profile will be highlighted in color in the Member Directory and in all search results, your posts will be highlighted on Marketplace, you’ll be able to add multiple photos, videos and documents (such as certification paperwork, price lists or recipes) and list up to three business references on your profile. Upgraded memberships become true relationship builders!
Are we missing Products, Distributors, Associations or Farmers’ Markets?
FoodHub will continually evolve to meet your needs, so please tell us if you can’t find a product that you buy or sell, if we’re missing an important certification or business type, or if we don’t list your farmers’ market or distribution partner. Click the green [Feedback] button on the left side of the screen or send an email to meet@food-hub.org.

Navigation


Watch the video: An Orientation to FoodHub (2:58)
My FoodHub
Your My FoodHub page is essentially your FoodHub dashboard – you can see the posts most relevant to you on Marketplace every time you log in, access your profile and account information, and get a quick look at what's been happening on FoodHub since your last visit.
My Profile
View your profile, see how many times your page has been visited, and make updates to optimize your connections! Learn more in the Profile section of How-it-Works.
My Products
Add products and maintain the list of products that you buy or sell. Your products will be included in your profile for other members to view. Visit the Profile section to learn more about how to use the Products table to capitalize on connection opportunities.
My Account

Here you can make changes to your FoodHub account including your username and password and account cancellations and upgrades.

How do I recover my lost password?
Click the [Forgot Password] link in the Sign In box. Provide your email address and we’ll send you a temporary password. Then, log-in to FoodHub, click [Edit Profile], and reset your password. If you don’t have access to your email, please contact meet@food-hub.org or call 503-467-0816 or 855-FOODHUB for additional assistance.
How do I change my username or password?
If you can access your account, click [Edit Profile] to make changes to your contact information. If you are unable to access your account, please email meet@food-hub.org or call 503-467-0816 or 855-FOODHUB for assistance.
How do I cancel my membership?
If you would like to deactivate your free FastStart membership, send an email to meet@food-hub.org. Manage your Advantage or All-Access accounts using the controls in My Account.
My Marketplace Posts
Manage your own posts by selecting My Marketplace Posts from the My FoodHub drop down in the top navigation. You can customize the Marketplace posts visible on your My FoodHub page by clicking the blue [edit display] link next to the Marketplace header on that page. Select which tab you want visible when you log in, and add other filters to make the posts relevant for you. You can change these settings at any time.
My Messages
In the upper right corner of the site you'll see a number if you have unread messages from other FoodHub Members. Just click that number to access your Message Center where you can read, respond to and write new messages. You can also access this feature from the My FoodHub drop-down.
How to Navigate the Message Center

When you first visit your Message center, you will be directed to your Inbox. The five folder titles on the left side correspond to the folders within your message center.

  • Inbox: New messages appear here.
  • Archived: Messages you've archived are automatically stored here.
  • Draft: Messages you have saved but not sent stay here until you send or delete them.
  • Sent: Messages you've sent are automatically stored here.
  • Deleted: Messages you've deleted from your Inbox sit here until you archive or permanently delete them.
How to Send a Message
In My Messages, click the [Compose Message] button. Start typing your recipient's name and select from the list, or click the [Contact List] button. Enter a subject in the Subject box. Write your message in the composition box. When you're ready, click the blue [Send] button.
Extra Options
Format your message
Dress up your message by changing the font or using the formatting tools located just above the main message box.
Save a draft
If you're interrupted or not ready to send your message, save a draft by clicking the [Save Draft] button to the right of [Send].
Send an Invoice or Purchase Order (PO)
When you click on the [Compose PO/Invoice] button, an empty message will automatically be populated with your address and relevant headers, such as "Ship To" and "Quantity." Simply replace the "xxx" with the proper information and press [Send].
Delete or archive a Message
In your Inbox, click the small check box to the left of the message subject and then click the [Delete Checked] or [Archive Checked] button.
I no longer want to receive emails from a FoodHub Member. What do I do?
Please forward a copy of the unwanted email with headers intact to meet@food-hub.org. You can also edit your profile and select “no” in the automated email category to minimize unwanted notifications filling your inbox.
Can I email the entire FoodHub community?
You may only send mail to your contacts. To reach the entire community, we recommend that you use the Marketplace. New Marketplace posts appear on everyone’s My FoodHub page.
My Hot Sheets

Watch the Video: Sellers: Send Hot Sheets (2:12)

Hot Sheets are a great way to tell your contacts what you’ve got available this week. It's also a great way to promote seasonal specials.

Creating and Editing Your Hot Sheet
You will have to add products to your profile before using this feature. Edit your Hot Sheet by clicking on the blue [Update Hot Sheet] button. To select the products you would like to appear in your Hot Sheet simply click in the appropriate check box next to the product name. Once you're finished click the blue [Update] button.
Sending Your Hot Sheet
Click the [Send Hot Sheet] button and you'll be taken to your Message Center. Your Hot Sheet will automatically appear in the body of the message and is completely editable. Add price, quantity and ordering information as appropriate. When ready, click [Contact List] and select the recipient, then click [Send]. Note: contacts must be in your contact list to receive your Hot Sheet.
Marketplace

Watch the Video: Using the FoodHub Marketplace (2:34)
Creating and Editing Posts

Creating your own Marketplace posts is easy! Just click the [Create Post] button and follow the instructions on-screen.

New posts will automatically expire in 2 weeks, unless they are marked "fulfilled" before then. To edit your post or mark it fulfilled, click on [My FoodHub] at the top of any page and select [My Marketplace Posts]. Select the [Active Posts] tab to edit or modify posts that are still visible to the rest of the community. Select [Expired Posts] if you want to copy or reactivate an expired post. Just click [Repost], edit any updated information and click [Create Post].

Have a product, service or announcement you'd like to promote on an ongoing basis? All-Access Members can set their posts to automatically refresh in Marketplace every two weeks. Learn more about upgrading.

Navigation

When you land on the main Marketplace page you'll notice four tabs across the top:

Products
Food items WANTED or FOR SALE, posted by both buyers and sellers.
Transportation
This tab houses all the posts related to logistics and transport. This is a great place to post load-sharing opportunities and routes. Distribution is one of the biggest challenges to building local food systems, so we at FoodHub will be watching these posts closely to see what we can learn and how we might help develop solutions.
Services
Members of all types can post non-food requests and opportunities in the Services tab. This is the ideal location for food and ag industry suppliers to promote their services.
Events & Announcements
This tab is the perfect place to find or promote events, conferences classes, workshops and meetings.
Member Directory

Watch the Video: Using the Member Directory (00:54)
If you want to see how many businesses of a certain type, or within a certain radius of your location, are in FoodHub, click on [Member Directory]. There are many other ways to look for what you need, find buyers for products and make connections on FoodHub. Visit the section on how to Search to learn more.
Knowledge Base

Watch the Video: Exploit the FoodHub Knowledge Base

The FoodHub Knowledge Base is a repository of tools, resources and thought leadership in local food. You'll find documents, videos and toolkits to help you get started or advance your practice in localizing your food supply chain.

Blog
Through regular postings, the FoodHub staff keeps you up-to-date with the latest FoodHub developments and local food news. You can also find copies of the buyer, seller and associate versions of the Fresh Sheets archived on the blog.

Searching

Buyers: Find Local Products

Watch the Video: Buyers: Find What You Need on FoodHub (2:03)

Whether you're looking for a year-round local supplier or an ingredient for a seasonal dish, FoodHub is designed for fast local foraging.

Simple Search
To do a simple search, let's say for apples, just type apples in the search box located at the top right hand corner of the page. Check the sponsored results at the top of the page first, these are motivated sellers! Use the filters on the left side of the page to refine your results.
Advanced Search
Click the [Advanced] link below the search box in the upper right corner of any page. Start your search by telling the system whether you’re looking for a product or a potential buyer of a product. Then click the boxes next to any of the attributes you want to use to narrow your search. For our apples example, you might select Braeburns, Pippins and Gala and you may decide you only want those that are certified organic. Your results will include only those producers who have attached those products with those specifications to their profiles. You can always loosen your criteria to cast a wider net if you want more results.
Browse the Member Directory
To find specific producers, use the Member Directory. You can search by name, or simply use the filtering tools down the left side of the page to filter the entire FoodHub database.
Forage using Marketplace

Visit Marketplace to view products for sale, or post your own listing for product wanted. You never know what you might find! Click on the headers at the top of the Marketplace table to sort by product, distance, post type or Member. Use the filters on the left to refine your search and save it to re-run on future visits. To quickly and easily create your own post, click the [Create Post] button and follow the on-screen instructions.

You can also customize the view of Marketplace that appears on your My FoodHub page when you log in. While in My FoodHub, click the [Edit Display] link located by the Marketplace header. Select which tab you want to see upon login and set the parameters for which posts to show, then save your selections. If you always want to see meat posts from sellers within 200 miles, or all transportation posts from any Member within 25 miles, you can do it here.

Add Products to your Profile
If you're looking for specific products, add them to your own profile! That way when sellers use FoodHub to search for good potential prospects for those products, your profile will come up. Don't forget to specify your preferred contact times and methods to your How to do Business with Us section so you get calls when you want them.
Sellers: Find Buyers

Watch the Video: Sellers: Find Buyers on FoodHub (2:34)
Using the Marketplace

Buyers post their product needs in Marketplace as WANTED posts, which can be sorted or filtered based on geography or product. You can also find suppliers, distributors, service providers and educational opportunities in Marketplace. Browse the Transport, Services and Events & Announcements tabs to get a look at what's available. Respond to a post by clicking the [Reply] button to connect!

Click on the headers at the top of the Marketplace table to sort by product, distance, post type or Member. Use the filters on the left to refine your search and save it to re-run on future visits. To quickly and easily create your own post, click the [Create Post] button and follow the on-screen instructions.

You can also customize the view of Marketplace that appears on your My FoodHub page when you log in. While in My FoodHub, click the [Edit Display] link located by the Marketplace header. Select which tab you want to see upon login and set the parameters for which posts to show, then save your selections. By setting the criteria to show WANTED posts for your product type, you’ll have potential connections served up every time you log in!

Searching for Your Products
Enter your product in the simple search box in the upper right corner of any FoodHub page. The results will show you everyone who has that product tied to their profile –both potential buyers and potential competitors. FoodHub is a great prospecting and research tool!
Advanced Search
Click the [Advanced] link below the search box in the upper right corner of any page. Start your search by telling the system whether you’re looking for a product or a potential buyer of a product. Then click the boxes next to any of the attributes you want to use to narrow your search. For our apples example, you might select Braeburns, Pippins and Gala and you may decide you only want those that are certified organic. Your results will include only those potential buyers who have attached those products with those specifications to their profiles. You can always loosen your criteria to cast a wider net if you want more results.
Browse the Member Directory

You may have noticed that buyers don't always add the products they're looking for to their profiles so they don't show up in searches. You can still find good prospects in your area though by proactively searching the Member Directory. Every FoodHub Member is listed in the directory, and it's easy to filter and sort the list using all the criteria listed down the left side of the screen. You can narrow the field to include only bakeries or schools for example, and then narrow further to only show your distribution area. More businesses are joining FoodHub every day, so it's a good idea to save and name your search so you can quickly access it on a regular basis.

Once you find a potential connection click on the [Send a Message] button to send a note and introduce yourself. Remember: Buyers are on FoodHub because they're interested in meeting local producers! Make sure your own profile is robust and tells your story so they can easily learn more about you after getting your message. You can also add promising prospects to your Contacts and send them your weekly Hot Sheet.

Associates: Find Connections

Watch the Video: Associates: Find Connections on FoodHub (00:54)
Prospecting with the Member Directory

The entire FoodHub Member database can be found in the Member Directory. You can search for a specific Member by name, by product or by proximity to your location. Let's say, for example, you're a farmers’ market manager looking for new vendors. You may want to narrow the entire Member database to show only sellers, and then narrow further based on distance from you.

If you're an industry supplier or service provider, you can create a prospecting list for your territory by selecting the appropriate business type, such as ranchers or restaurants, and then sorting the list by proximity or looking at them on a map.

Once you find good potential connections, click the company names to visit their profiles and learn more. You may find pictures, videos, business references, ratings or downloadable recipes or other documents. Click the [Send a Message] button in their profile to start communicating. Note: it's a good idea to update your own profile before you start connecting so potential contacts can learn about your organization too.

Using the simple and advanced search tools
As a writer or blogger, you might be doing a story on pastured meats and need to find ranchers with pasture-raised animals to interview. You might do a product search, let's say for MEAT. You could simply enter BEEF in the simple search box in the upper right corner of any page, or click on [Advanced] directly below the search box. With Advanced Search, you can search for meat in your area, and set the filters to only show results that are "pasture-raised". Now you've got a list of ranchers to start your interviews!
Browsing the Marketplace

Promote your services, events and workshops, or simply keep your finger on the pulse of local food, using FoodHub’s Marketplace. Check out the tabs located just above the post block – there are four:

  • Products, where food product WANTED or FOR SALE is listed
  • Transportation, where Members can post partial load opportunities or logistics and transport services
  • Services, where industry suppliers can promote services that support the food and ag industries, and
  • Events & Announcements, which is the perfect place to promote events, classes, workshops and meetings!

To create a post in any category, click the [Create Post] button at the top of the page and follow the instructions on screen. There is NO FEE to post on Marketplace!

Click on the headers at the top of the Marketplace table to sort by product, distance, post type or Member. Use the filters on the left to refine your search and save it to re-run on future visits.

You can also customize the view of Marketplace that appears on your My FoodHub page when you log in. While in My FoodHub, click the [Edit Display] link located by the Marketplace header. Select which tab you want to see upon login and set the parameters for which posts to show, then save your selections. By setting the criteria to match your target market, you’ll have potential connections served up every time you log in!

Submit
Cancel
FEEDBACK