The UP Food Exchange: A New Online Marketplace

The Upper Peninsula region’s local food council, the U.P. Food Exchange, is fueled by the momentum of individuals, organizations and businesses looking to support more centralized and healthier eating. They are pleased to reveal their new platform for online local food ordering throughout the region.

The site officially went live December 1st and after a few weeks of acclimation, almost all the pieces are in place. The timing of the transition was key. During the slow season, the UPFE is learning how to use the platform in a way that best fits the area’s local food system. Over the next few months, the site and the logistics will be fine-tuned. The UPFE will thoughtfully introduce producers and purchasers to their new platform to provide the best service possible.

The UPFE Online Marketplace currently operates in the North-Central UP. The flexibility of the program paired with the support of institutional purchasers will allow the platform to become more accessible for the whole region. Visually, the marketplace resembles an online ordering technology many purchasers are already familiar with and it makes buying and selling more local food more efficient.

This system is specifically designed for larger buyers such as hospitals, universities, assisted living facilities, schools and restaurants. Though, the site is a great way for individual consumers to see what’s locally available as they make their farmer’s market shopping list.

This new site was made possible by partnering with Local Food Marketplace based out of Eugene, Oregon. The technology was originally written in 2009 for Eugene Local Foods, a food hub that Amy McCann and Doug Frazier ran for 5 years before transitioning ownership to Willamette Farm and Food Coalition in 2013.  Eight years after launching, Local Food Marketplace now supports 120+ food hubs, online markets, co-ops, and buying clubs across more than 35 states. The UPFE is excited to join that list.

You can check out the site here.

If you have questions, feedback or inquires to learn more about the UPFE Marketplace, please send an email to the Market Manager, Alex: [email protected]