Small Bites Lite: April 22, 2021
~because it snowed on Earth Day & it's vacation week things are "lite"
Over $67 Million in VT 2020 local sales tabulated so far
Let's get your sales counted - can we make it to $100 million?
Help us collect local meat DSD sales

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Helping Hands, Helping All

Vermont stores are the backbone to our communities. Across the state they have stepped up support in many ways. Matching donations to programs, providing meals, "rally for change", & helping isolated citizens with volunteer run deliveries.
Dan & Whit's, the hub of Norwich, has a long history of engagement. They know the value of helping out with humor through one minute videos providing awareness of businesses in the community struggling due to the pandemic. The Monday Minutes are "non-essential but interesting local things". Beyond the fun of the one minute, the videos support local businesses, the arts, sign language lessons, & pet adoptions. With things opening up a bit, they are also promoting local food producers with curated ensembles of products perfect for small group entertaining. A discount on the bundled products is always part of their promotion.
Their Saving Maine Street is only one of the programs with support from Farrell Distributing (time stamp 6:20) which is donating one dollar per bottle of select wine sold. By partnering with distributors & vendors, they amplify the positive impact. Dan saw early on in the pandemic that their alcohol sales were strong while restaurants were shuttered, they then began donating 10% of beer & wine sales to restaurants deleteriously impacted.
By creating Monday Minutes, Dan shares the spirit of the community widely. After a story ran on WPTZ in March, about the positive impact of owner Dan Fraser's fun weekly videos, the community rallied to support Dan's community efforts raising in 19 days a total of $420,000 for Upper Valley Haven. This happens because the entire community sticks together through thick & thin. To see just how Dan does it, scroll through the 16 episodes of Monday Minutes!
VSmiley Preserves VT honey + VT Fruit = Jam shipped to stores across the state (& the country!)
Stores Take Note of VT Grants!
Local Food In Your Community Grants addressing market access including grocery stores, independent retail, & food co-ops, will be considered.
Food Price Increases to Continue

Supply chain disruptions continue impacting all aspects of food on grocery store shelves. This leads to higher costs from suppliers & grocers are the last link in passing on cost increases to shoppers. Stores may find themselves juggling margins along with price perceptions. Every type of food store & all product categories are squeezed. It is predicted to continue through 2022 with on-going covid 19 impacts & global climate change upheaval.
Some of the factors include increases in the cost of resin used in packaging & shipping. Other reasons for increases are related to the global climate emergency with intensified destruction on food crops around the world. Other causes are pressures on trucking with lack of drivers & a shift in shipping priorities. Obviously, this impacts low income & food insecure, continuing the need for government & communities to help those in need. 
Are you like Roots Farm Market buying meat direct from local farmers? Get your sales counted in the
the 2020 local food tracking project; it is currently seeking DSD MEAT sales to capture data on changed shopping habits during covid.
Request a form at

A big thank you to all who have shared your data we are up to $67 Million. And, it's not too late to be included
Distribution: It Takes a Region

Distribution is a mighty complicated puzzle of interconnected pieces including logistics, labor & multi-faceted cashflow impacts.
One of the rules of the road is making sure trucks are efficiently loaded, unloaded, & all product is carefully handled for optimal quality at receiving. A second rule is to 'fill a truck' & create efficient routes with strong sales at each store stop.
In Vermont, that might mean crossing into New Hampshire for meat from The Robie Farm. The farm has expanded sales of their high-quality pork, chicken, beef & veal through several distribution options. Their formula includes selling product to Upper Valley Produce & shipping BOL through other regional distributors including Associated Buyers & Food Connects. They reach all the VT stores in the AGNE family by shipping through UVP. If you are a store already buying from UVP & not carrying Robie, you may want to round out your order with their fresh meat. Processed every Tuesday & Wednesday, it is then picked up by distributors & shipped to VT & regional stores.
From Vergennes to Londonderry to Hardwick to Woodstock stores are increasing their meat orders & making deliveries more efficient. The farm provides stores with case dividers to help merchandise their meat thereby improving sales & increase product rotation & easy restocking. If you already buy from UVP, Food Connects (part of VT Way Foods), & Associated Buyers, consider bringing on Robie to round out your meat department. 
It's a busy lambing season at
The Parsons Farm in Richford
Farmers Take Note

VAAFM Grants to Know: Proposals addressing market access in Vermont institutions, defined as colleges and universities, early childcare and pre-k-12 schools, hospitals, nursing homes, & correctional facilities, & wholesale market access, including grocery stores, independent retail, & food co-ops, will be considered.

The VT Law School has a guide to animal welfare to help clarify options for certification. Some farmers seek animal welfare certifications in order to communicate their higher-welfare practices to consumers. Check out the comprehensive guide for a comparison of key differences between three programs: Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, & Global Animal Partnership.  

Update! Farmers Market
Scale Testing:
- No in-person scale clinics this year
- Vendors who have had their scales tested in a prior year will not be required to submit their scales to the Agency for inspection
- Vendors who may be using new scales for the first time are asked to contact the Agency to make an appointment to have their scales tested for compliance to accuracy and specification requirements. More info
VAAFM weekly e-news & resources, it's not just for farmersSign up here to receive issues directly to your inbox.
Farm to Plate Strategic Plan

The Plan is a vision for Vermont's food system in 2030, 15 strategic goals with 87 objectives, & recommendations for action. 54 food system product, market, & issue briefs highlight current conditions, bottlenecks & gaps, opportunities, & recommendations. Explore the extensive collection of Briefs.