first_img “We are excited to be part of this project,” said Julia Gaskin, sustainable agriculture coordinator in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “There are a number of local food initiatives in northeast Georgia that have gotten the ball rolling. We hope this partnership will really help provide new opportunities for small farms and beginning farmers.” UGA Extension will provide food hub farmers with business and technical training needed to make the most of the new distribution system. The project will help small and beginning farmers meet the growing demand for local produce and access to flash-freezing equipment. The frozen food line will not only allow farmers to sell their produce year-round, but will also supply the food bank’s clients with more locally sourced vegetables. Currently, the food hub is looking for farmers from Rabun, Towns, White, Habersham, Stephens, Franklin, Banks, Hart, Jackson, Madison, Oglethorpe, Barrow, Clarke and Oconee counties. “If they can build a year-round market by putting some of their bumper crop up to sell later, that will help with cash flow,” said John Becker, the food bank’s executive director. “This is going to allow farmers to do more with the produce or allow them to expand their farms and make a go of it.” The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia’s food hub, housed in its Rabun County facility, will be the first in the country to leverage a regional food bank’s supply chain to help farmers aggregate and preserve their produce. In partnership with University of Georgia Extension, the organizations will join forces to increase access to local food and local jobs. A growing number of small-scale growers find they have too much produce for a farmers market or a community-supported agriculture system but not enough to meet the needs of restaurants, schools or grocery stores. The food hub will pull these small- and medium-size farms together, so they can pool their products to fill large orders. “Having access to more fresh vegetables helps on the supply side,” Becker said. “Helping local farmers expand their markets, and maybe their farms, will help create jobs. If someone has a better job, they may not need to utilize the food bank or food pantry system. So it will help on the supply side, but it will also help on the demand side.” If the partnership between the food bank and UGA is successful, the Food Hub of Northeast Georgia could become a national model for food hubs. Currently, several models — from for-profit aggregator companies to farmer cooperatives — are being tested across the country. UGA Sustainable Agriculture’s collaboration with the food bank is one part of a larger outreach program for beginning and small farmers and ranchers. For more information, visit The food bank, which collects and distributes food over a 14-county area in northeast Georgia, will use a network of trucks, truck drivers and warehouses to support the regional food hub. The training program and logistics services will be available to farmers this growing season. The flash-freezing system should be available in late fall. Together with farm business training programs offered through UGA Extension, the food hub project and the frozen food equipment will allow farmers to expand their operations — making family farms economically profitable. Gaskin has been working with Becker to get the food hub project off the ground for the past three years. The food bank has hired a food hub manager, T.J. Smith, to manage the project in Rabun County, and the partnership is now recruiting farmers. UGA Extension has hired a new agricultural and natural resources Extension agent, Amber Arrington, to help provide support to the food hub project. While UGA Extension has agents in most of Georgia’s 159 counties, Rabun County has not had a full-time agent for several years, Gaskin said. Founded in 1992, the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia distributed nearly 10.3 million pounds of food (or the equivalent of 8.3 million meals) through 215 partner agencies in 2012. For more information, visit read more

first_imgAmundi – Peter Brackett has been appointed head of global consultant relations for the French asset manager. Brackett joins the firm from American Century Investments, where he helped build the UK institutional business. He also held similar roles at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and was previously an investment consultant at Aon Hewitt. He will be based in London and will look to develop Amundi’s reputation among consulting firms.IFM Investors – John Carey has been appointed as investment director for European infrastructure debt at the Australian firm’s London office. Carey will be responsible for the origination, analysis and execution of debt investments made in the UK and Europe. He joins from Moody’s, where he was a senior analyst in infrastructure finance. He also has experience with Barclays, in infrastructure finance, and KPMG.GAM – Gary Singleterry and Tom Mansley are set to join the Swiss asset management group after it acquired Singleterry Mansley Asset Management, of which they were principals. Alongside the founders, the entire investment team will also transfer across to GAM. The pair founded their firm in 2002, which has AUM of around $400m (€294m). Its consolidation into GAM is expected to complete later this month. Vervoer, De Eendragt, KPMG, Amundi, IFM Investors, GAMVervoer – The €15.8bn pension fund for private road transport in the Netherlands, has appointed Marjolein Sol as its new CIO, effective 1 August. Sol is to succeed Patrick Groenendijk, who recently started as practice leader at Northern Trust’s Chicago-based fiduciary management team. From 2012 to 2013, Sol was a board member at Mercurius, the pension fund for financial services – including communications watchdog AFM and Euronext – which is currently in the process of liquidation. Before then, she was CIO at Syntrus Achmea Asset Management and senior adviser at insurer Achmea. Vervoer’s new CIO has also been business leader for IC Benelux at consultant Mercer, director of fixed income and equities at the €158bn asset manager PGGM and head of credit derivatives at Rabobank.De Eendragt – Philip Menco has left as director of the €1.5bn life insurer and pensions provider De Eendragt Pensioen. He has been succeeded by Albert Bakker, a former interim manager and senior programme manager at insurer Achmea. Menco is still deciding on his next opportunity, he said. At the same time, André van Vliet has succeeded Tom Nieuwenhuizen as CFO at De Eendragt. Nieuwenhuizen is to fully focus on the company’s clients.KPMG – Julie Patterson is to join the global accountancy and consultancy firm as a director in its European financial services regulatory centre, covering the investment management industry. Patterson is known for her prior position at the Investment Management Association, where she was director of regulatory affairs for investment funds and retail. Patterson spent 15 years at the IMA before deciding to join KPMG, representing fund managers through a raft of new regulatory changes.last_img read more