Strengthening the food system requires access to resources, including capital, a trained workforce, marketing, and infrastructure. We are working to build those resources and connect them with those who need them.
This group works to support the economic well-being of our local farms and food businesses. This year the group has focused on supporting the organizers and vendors at the Athol and Orange Farmers Markets and the Quabbin Harvest food co-op located in downtown Orange. Through this initiative, members co-created a marketing campaign that included newspaper articles about “featured farmers,” newspaper advertisements and coupons, increased signage for the markets, and a local food brochure. The group worked to make the markets more family-friendly by incorporating a “Kids’ Corner” tent offering kids activities and run by different community groups. Members are working to generate more local support for the markets and are developing an action plan that will be implemented over the next year.
- Increase marketing and education about local food and farms.
- Promote agritourism and local food culture.
- Develop niche market opportunities for food products.
- Promote workforce development for farm/food related jobs.
- Support struggling farmers markets in the area and engage with market coordinators to help them succeed.
- Form a network of local food businesses to share resources and support the local food economy.