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Theses/Dissertations

Iowa State University

Economics

2016

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Ratios And Benchmarks As Tools For Local Food Hub Decision-Making: A Comparative Case Study, Savanna May Lyons Jan 2016

Ratios And Benchmarks As Tools For Local Food Hub Decision-Making: A Comparative Case Study, Savanna May Lyons

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Food hubs, or local food aggregation and distribution businesses, are triple-bottom-line firms that play an increasingly important role in connecting small and mid-sized farmers to wholesale and retail markets. This paper explores how food hubs can use their financial data to identify and address strengths and challenges in their operations. We propose a “dashboard” of key metrics and benchmarks for food hub managers, and apply it a comparative case study of four food hubs over three years of operations. We compare and contrast the liquidity, cash flow, efficiency, solvency and repayment capacity of the four cases, and analyze cross-cutting themes ...