Clearing Waters: Perspectives and Opportunities for Sourcing Regional Seafood
As more institutions, restaurants, and consumers turn to sourcing local protein, seafood is coming up as a great option in conversations around the food movement. Yet the landscape (or seascape) of seafood is often confusing, and “seafood” is but one word that represents many different fisheries, sea farms, and people across the country. This session is for anyone interested in broadening their depth and breadth of knowledge about the fishing and seafood industry in the US, as well as opportunities to source more seafood from various regions of the country. We will hear stories and examples from presenters about how they are working with regional supply chains to get more seafood into the marketplace. Part of the session will be devoted to small group conversations where we will dive into participant experiences and questions about sourcing regional seafood, with a focus on solutions, opportunities, and success stories.
Kyle Foley, Sustainable Seafood Program Manager at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute; Shayna Cohen is a Senior Consultant, Karen Karp & Partners; John Fallon, Director of Sustainability and Coastal Conservation for Audubon Nature Institute; Tyson Rasor, Fish and Food Program Manager at Ecotrust
Developing & Selling Innovative Value-Added Products for Farm to Institution Markets
Expand markets for local producers and increase access to healthy foods for community members who need it most by developing innovative and affordable value-added local food products for schools, hospitals and food banks. Learn the “how’s” and “why’s” of Farm to Institution through the experience of Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, a nonprofit shared-use, fully-inspected food processing facility, in partnering with local institutions, producers and cooperatives to deliver minimally-processed produce and ready-to-eat products incorporating meats, grains and legumes, including the Montana Lentil Burger, beef-lentil crumble, breakfast bars for schools, a beef-lentil-mushroom “meatball”, and tomato sauce. Topics will include key lessons for all stages from identifying products and demand, recipe development and testing, equipment and packaging, cost and nutrition analysis, meeting food safety & regulatory requirements and market requirements (such school meal pattern requirements), developing key relationships, using MOUs and contracts, and even how to complete a Product Formulation Statement! Participants will also start thinking about the process and products that make sense in their community and discuss the role of institutions in building healthy communities through strong, equitable local economies and food systems.
Brianna Ewert, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center
Meat in the Middle: Designing and Growing a Value-Added Meat Program
A well-designed line of meat products can be a high-margin driver of food hub viability year round. However, as demand for the program goes, managing tension between scale, source, and certification is necessary to keep your organization’s values front and center. Join James Faison, Founder and President of Milton’s Local in Virginia, to explore how he grew his local meat hub from a start up to a regional grocery store staple. This session explore the nuts-and-bolts of value-added meat processing and lays out six areas of consideration: 1) setting appropriate objectives, 2) determining sourcing requirements, 3) setting price points, 4) establishing label claims, 5) choosing the right packaging, and 6) entering the right sales channels.
M. James Faison, Milton’s Local; Thomas Dollahite, Sweetgrass Beef Cooperative
Grain Value Chains
Even though grain is a significant part of most Americans’ diet, it has only be relatively recently that the local food movement has begun to work on nurturing grain value chains. In this session you will hear details about two very different, very successful grain value chains; one in a very rural area, one in a very urban area. Each story has a myriad of best practices that you can learn from when working in your own area.
Michelle Ajamian; June Russell