Small Bites: March 24, 2021
created for farmers, food manufacturers, distributors, grocers, &
anyone else interested in how food moves click below "view entire message" for all the content
Vermont Maple Guild: Full on busy with sugaring
Promoting Maple
We have something special this time of year that is totally consuming.
It is maple season. The crossing over from Winter to Spring when everyday reveals the running of sap somewhere in the state. The various micro-climates & methods of production result in many maple syrup brands & a wide range of maple specialty products.
Because it’s been a busy sugaring week this issue is particularly small & maple-centric. Late nights, long days are common in Vermont right now!  
So many maple products, not enough room for all the highlights!
Brattleboro Coop provides a fully-merchandised end cap to Bunker
Farm for their award-winning single source, wood fired maple syrup. They are also a coop featured vendor for the month of March. Well done! This is a great way to promote our local producers.
It is not just maple syrup that flavors our products, maple wood is incorporated into flavoring cheese with a slow smoking process. The award-winning cheese by Grafton has many uses including upgrading breakfast omelets or cheese plates.
VT Maple & VT cream go a long way in these tasty Snowflake Chocolates
Maple Wind Farm produces pasture raised poultry & quality maple breakfast sausage sold to stores.
Thursday March 25th we will have record breaking temperatures across the state... in the 70's & that means creemees are going to be a hot item!
Silloway Maple in Randolph will be serving up large maple creemees with an all-hands-on-deck approach to match the demand!
Sodexo has committed to VT maple syrup since 2015
Producing Maple Syrup
Across Vermont it has been all hands-on deck at sugarhouses & processing facilities. This is the time to build inventory for future sales to co-packers & private label brands. With more interest than ever for maple-based beers & spirits, barrel storage is taking place for future processing into a range of products.
Distributors all know that Vermont is recognized for its quality maple products & customers expect it. It is one of the premiere products that identifies with Vermont both nationally & internationally.
But because it’s a big week, we will keep this a small bite, ie extra short due to long days collecting sap & even longer nights at the sugar house!
Farm & Forestry Resources

Vermont's Extension office has created a Maple Blog with loads of resources

Sugarbush forestry management resources for sugarbushes & targeted a few tools for maple business development

Other maple resources can be found via past conference topics including selling maple products online
Recommended Resources & Organizations

We have an amazing support network for our local food economy- from trade organizations to micro-regional social profit agents. Each is a fantastic resource to help educate about our food system. Check out the resources through the VT Housing & Conservation Board, including grants & technical assistance for producers & also check out the Farm to Plate News
Eat Local VT helps folks find sugarhouses & maple producers. ACORN is working to upload more farm & food businesses across the state via regional organizations. Find the free app in the Apple App & Google Play stores.
Food Service: Bulk Maple Products

Food service managers are encouraged to buy more VT products. Buy in bulk & save on pricing & packaging:

Sugar Bob's Finest Kind maple based sauces include smoked maple syrup, sriracha, BBQ. Available through Lesser Distribution & DSD.

Bulk maple granola from True North, mix with local yogurt for your food service meals.
Reminder! Join the Vermont Specialty Food Association for business to business support to grow & improve operations in a supportive environment.
Next up a co-packing webinar, mark our calendar now for April 21st from 1-2:00.
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 extensive collection of Briefs or dig into the Maple Brief.
Cheers to all the VT sugar makers working long hours in their sugarbushes, sugar houses & production lines!