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Report on Scaling Up to Sell to Institutions Forum

There are many considerations for both the producer/processor and the institution when seeking to increase local foods on the menu. Scale, delivery, and cost are a few examples. In the match-making and information sharing event, farmers listened to Sodexo chefs and executives explain their needs. Producers and processors left the event with more clarity on whether the institutional market was right for them and how to go about working with institutional markets.

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Career Profiles

A collection of resources from the Career Profiles project, including profiles of workers in Vermont's food system, resources for teachers, and background information.

Career Profiles Charting a Path: Food System Workforce Needs Assessment

This study, conducted by researchers Holly Tippett and Wendy Meunier, asked, “What are the education and training needs of Vermont’s food system employers and is our education system aligned with these needs?” The final report, Charting a Path: Food System Workforce Needs Assessment, gives 10 recommendations to better align Vermont’s food system education with the needs of today’s farm and food businesses.

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Financing Case Studies

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network created a series of case studies based on types of financing used by Vermont food businesses. The case studies cover convertible debt (High Mowing Organic Seeds), farmland financing (Bread & Butter Farm), and royalty financing (Liz Lovely).

Financing Case Studies Seeding the Future with Convertible Debt: A Financing Case Study of High Mowing Organic Seeds

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The first financing case study, Seeding the Future With Convertible Debt, focuses on High Mowing Organic Seeds--a producer of more than 600 varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower seed that employs more than 40 people in Wolcott--and convertible debt.

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Asset Mapping Survey and Strategic Planning Report

28 organizations in the state, composed of nonprofits, government agencies, colleges and universities, and solid waste districts were surveyed for the Asset Mapping Project. Surveyed organizations were asked to identify assets in 7 areas: Personnel, Expertise, Constituents, Networks & Partners, Space & Facilities, Materials & Equipment, and Additional Leverage Areas. The survey was designed to: (1) Ensure identification of the major organizations that can serve as statewide Universal Recycling assets, (2) Identify key alliances and networks that can support and promote Food Cycle Coalition initiatives (3) Assess the strengths and gaps of organizations’ assets and the network of organizational assets as a whole, (4) Develop insights and recommendations for how to improve local/regional conditions that support Universal Recycling goals and implementation, (5) Catalyze action to meet local and regional needs to ensure comprehensive Universal Recycling implementation, and (6) Estimate the economic value of identified assets.

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Financing Case Studies Bread & Butter Farm Case Study

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The second financing case study, Complex Dough, focuses on the land deal that enabled Bread & Butter Farm to purchase a conserved farm in Chittenden County. Nearly a dozen organizations and more than 25 individuals were involved, including a statewide land trust, a local land trust, two municipalities, an agricultural lender, a foundation, an angel investor, CSA members, and nonprofits. Although this particular patchwork quilt of financing sources was unique to Bread & Butter Farm, the fact is that new farm ventures in Vermont must often pull together a variety of financing sources, particularly if the purchase…

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Financing Case Studies Liz Lovely Case Study

A wide variety of financing options across the capital continuum are available to assist with the capital needs of Vermont’s food system businesses. However, navigating through the multitude of financing options can be overwhelming. In response to the need to help businesses better understand and navigate the variety of financing options available to them, the Financing Cross-Cutting Team of the Farm to Plate Network convened a series of panels that illuminated financing options that different food system businesses have used—High Mowing Organic Seeds and convertible debt, Bread & Butter Farm and a complex farmland deal, Liz Lovely and royalty financing, and Aqua Vitae and convertible debt. The third financing case study, Cookie Royalty, focuses on Liz Lovely, Inc. and a royalty financing deal that helped the business to grow. The 2013 royalty financing deal that helped Liz Lovely increase its annual sales from $1 million to $2 million in just one year was flexible, designed to move with the ebbs and flows of the company. Royalty financing, in which a loan is repaid based on a percentage of revenue over time (vs. a fixed monthly principal and interest payment), allowed Liz Lovely to endure fluctuations in revenue without having to make pre-set…

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Independent Grocery research report - Phase 2

In 2014, the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, in collaboration with the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association (VRGA), completed a survey of independent retailers in Vermont, revealing that 100 percent of store managers value local products as critical to their store brand. In the second phase of research, we wanted to learn more about how independent stores buy and sell local foods, along with their interest in workshops, training and business support services that can help increase local food sales.

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Energy

A collection of resources providing information about energy use, renewable energy, and alternative energy forms on farms.