Small Bites: It's full on Sprin-ter
March 17, 2021
created for farmers, food manufacturers, distributors, grocers, & anyone else interested in how food moves
click below "view entire message" for all the content
Butterfly Bakery: A gold-star multiplier! 100% of their products are made with some VT ingredients
Grocers Purchasing:
VT's Multiplier Effect
There are many variables for grocers to balance all the operations & have systems in place to carry local products. Having a strong local food programs supports small scale local "gateway producers" & creates opportunities for emerging companies with deep roots to the community. This results in a ripple effect of positive economic factors.
Buyers assist emerging brands in scaling. This can take the form of basic business protocols such as helping with invoicing, understanding packaging, & payment terms. For stores, the commitment to local requires a systems-approach for ordering, receiving & payments to vendors. Buying from local vendors keeps money flowing providing a broad range of economic benefits known as the local multiplier effect.
We have a strong history in our farming & food businesses to recognize the power of supporting local businesses. For decades, coops & stores including Healthy Living Market & Cafe have promoted their connections to the power of the purse. Butterfly Bakery's has grown its business selling to stores through co-promotions, supportive in-store merchandising & great story telling.
The sales revenue allows for an increased multiplier effect through contract buying with farmers for premium ingredients for the salsas & baked goods. Their continued growth has a wide positive impact on our local economy. Watch the recent WCAX story or watch Elizabeth Rossano's promotion video on the multiplier effect of buying from local farms including Maple Wind, Shadow Creek, Kingsbury & Dog River.  
Many of Vermont businesses directly impact our economy by sourcing local ingredients, using local packaging companies, & relying on local branding & marketing companies like Rival Brands. Our businesses make commitments to local services & nonprofits too. For instance, Butterfly Bakery is donating 5% of ALL sales to the Vermont Food Bank, permanently. 
Mach's Market in Pawlett positively impacts its community by sourcing from local vendors like Mighty Food Farm in Shaftsbury & using delightful feta from the Boston Post Dairy. These are among the many amazing local ingredients that make
their woodfired pizza so tasty & locals coming back for more. BTW, of
course local wood fires up the pizza oven!
March is a great month for Produce Department Spring Cleaning. With the seasonal change there is less variety making it easy to downsize displays for thorough cleaning. This helps prepare for spring merchandising of southern & western produce followed by an increase in local produce.
Product Highlights
Vermont Sweetwater, is a small bottling company specializing in high flavor
profile seltzers & sodas. They were the first to bottle the actual maple
sap from the sugar maple back in 1993. If your store is looking for an alternative to the two large national beverage product lines- consider this "multiplier-effect" company. Always using Vermont maple as a base, their products are distributed in Vermont through VT Roots, P&S, & Associated Buyers.

Maple is another one of our strong associations with the multiplier effect. The maple industry includes all the suppliers of equipment, bottles for packaging, branding & marketing companies, & for those who toss a tab of butter into the evaporator VT butter finds its way as a multiplier too.
Gammelgarden Maple Skyr is a year-round product, but this time of year, stores make an extra effort to highlight maple products. This increases sales opportunities & the associated multiplier effect. Buy-local means more money stays local.
The pandemic has sparked a huge increase in Vermont maple sales due to families eating more skyr, cooking breakfast & home baking.
Allen Brothers Market & Farm Store, is a full-service store complete with its own greenhouses.
They are now humming along with early-harvest spinach & greens, while spring & summer garden bedding plants grow quickly with the lengthening daylight. All of this, and their in-house bakery & fantastic prepared meals keeps customers coming back day after day, year after year!
The Vermont Artisan Village provides flexible spaces for thriving food artisans. They invite more
culinary businesses to join them at the easily accessed food campus in
Shelburne. If you want to move your food business forward, contact them soon.
Vermont benefits from the multiplier effect- production through distribution to store shelves
Distribution &Growth:
Economic Multipliers
Local ownership has multiplier effects in distribution as well as production & ingredient sourcing all the way through to grocery stores. Shelf-life & product integrity are obviously important for the highest level of service & repeat buying the shopper level.
Often food businesses start by self-distribution DSD with a goal of expanding as their sales & efficiencies take hold. There are many steps to take to prepare for growth. LaPanciata one of Vermont's premier award winning bakeries, has stepped up to the next-stage growth arena. They are working with marketing & branding company Rival Brands & Equinox Food Brokers launching freshly re-branded packaging for select products. These decisions to use local companies in their growth opens up opportunities with distributors to access new stores. With a goal of longer shelf life & refreshed packaging comes more visibility from distributors looking to add new products to their inventory. Rebranding products can improve product placement at the distributor & store level.
The locally owned business support services that help companies grow are an integral part of the multiplier effect keeping dollars in our communities. Additionally, local distributors help to create a vibrant local economy while national distribution can improve growth opportunities leading to community-level impacts. 
Newly rebranded La Panciata is opening new DSD accounts & expanding distributors with its easy to merchandise new packaging
Plainfield Coop keeps the local economy engaged with first of the season local arugula
Farmer Resources

Harvest Hosts Fact: on-farm revenues increased for Vermont farms participating in 2020. Explore this on-farm travel option; a busy travel year is anticipated & most summer rentals are already booked.
Thinking about opening-up your farm more this year? Check out the VT AgTourism Collaborative
Improving handwashing stations From the UVM ag engineering blog- simple steps to take now to prepare for the anticipated summer season
March Farm Goal: Check out the NOFA farm grants to distribute directly to farmers to enhance projects improving long term resilience.

Are you still wondering how to assess the viability of your market channels? This pre-covid Cornell Market Channel Study has some good tools & information to help your value your time & resources toward profitability.
Recommended Resources & Organizations

We have an amazing network supporting our local food economy- from trade organizations to micro-region social profit agents. Each is a fantastic resource to help educate about our food system. Here are this week’s highlights:

List jobs & events & news on the Farm to Plate website
Eat Local VT a new mobile-friendly guide to local farms & food producers. Available to download for free in the Apple App Store & Google Play Store. The app makes it easy to find & connect farmers & food producers. Started in Addison County- ACORN is working to load farm & food businesses across the state via regional organizations.
Food Service & Everyone Eats

Food service managers are encouraged to buy more VT products. Vermont Soy has bulk 5 pound pack sizes distributed through Pumpkin Village Foods & Black River Produce & is perfect for your food service or Everyone Eats.
Check out the food service list of specialty food products- think of it as a clue to include more locally produced foods in your store meal programs.
Just Cut- minimally processed VT vegetables is one of our favorite multiplier products locally sold through Farm Connex.
Reminder for folks to consider joining the Vermont Specialty Food Association for business to business support to grow & improve operations in a supportive environment.
Farm to Plate Strategic Plan
The Plan contains a vision for Vermont's food system in 2030, 15 strategic goals with 87 objectives, & recommendations for action. It is based on a series of 54 food system product, market, & issue briefs highlighting current conditions, bottlenecks & gaps, opportunities, & recommendations. Explore the Goat Brief or another from the extensive collection of Briefs.