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Matchmaker Event will Pair Farmers, Food Producers with Local Buyers

Matchmaker Event will Pair Farmers, Food Producers with Local Buyers
“Speed-Dating” Style Event seeks to make Lasting Local Connections 

Vermont farmers, food producers, and processors will meet face-to-face with grocers, restaurants, hotels, and institutions at the 2015 Vermont Local Food Matchmaker Event Wednesday, March 25th at Vermont Tech.

The event, which organizers say is “like speed-dating” for the local food community, will provide an opportunity for food buyers to preview locally grown and produced products.

“Our farmers and producers don’t need to travel far to find buyers, there are many right here in Vermont,” said Meghan Sheridan, Executive Director of Vermont Fresh Network, one of the organizations sponsoring the event. “There are lots of national food shows, but we are keeping it local, helping people here in our community connect and create opportunity.”

Over sixty producers will have the opportunity to showcase their products for more than forty buyers, representing grocery chains, colleges, hotels, and hospitals, and other institutions.

“It’s an eclectic mix,” says Abbey Willard, Local Food Administrator for Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture. “From Shaw’s to Okemo Mountain Ski Resort, from Upper Valley Produce to Green Mountain Organic Creamery, our goal is to connect a wide variety of buyers with a broad range of local Vermont farmers and food producers.”

For a full list of the 100+ participants, see  http://www.vermontfresh.net/programs/matchmaker/

“Vermont retailers are eager to support local growers and producers, and to provide their customers with healthy, local options that support Vermont’s agricultural economy,” according to Jim Harrison, President of the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association.

“These buyers recognize that Vermonters value locally produced foods,” according to Chuck Ross, Secretary of Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. “When local farmers and food producers succeed, all Vermonters benefit. Our local economy is strengthened, and our Working Landscape is supported.”

Event Details

  • What: Vermont Local Food Matchmaker
  • Where: Judd Hall at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, VT
  • When: 12:00 till 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

Registration for buyers and sellers has now closed, but the event will be open to the media. 

Agenda

  • 12:00 - Table Set-up for Sellers -- VT Farmers and Processors
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - VT Food Show: Food buyers will be able to mingle at Farmer/Food Processor display tables
  • 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Buyers move to their tables & prepare for the matches
  • 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. -  8 minute match opportunities

Vermont Local Food Matchmaker is a partnership of the Vermont Fresh Network, Vermont Specialty Food Association, Vermont Retail and Grocers Association, Vermont FEED, Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets and Health Care without Harm.

This event was made possible by a Vermont Local Food Market Development Grant. Read more about Local Food Market Development Grants here: http://agriculture.vermont.gov/producer_partner_resources/funding_opportunities/vaafm_funding/local_food_market