ONEONTA, N.Y. — The Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) is offering a Farm to Institution Wholesale Readiness Webinar on Wednesday, May 26 at 11am on Zoom, also streaming live to CADE’s Facebook page. Panelists participating in various areas of Farm to Institution will offer insight on the market, and guidance on how and where to enter, based on their experiences as farmer, food hub and community institution chefs. Advance registration is strongly encouraged.
The Farm to Institution market remains a growing opportunity for local farm and food businesses to diversify their sales channels, increase revenue and feed more people in their community. For institutions, it has become increasingly important to source food locally to ensure healthy, fresh food is reaching our largest and most vulnerable populations, and at a reduced risk for supply disruption during a national or global event. Webinar attendees will hear directly from those in this market about the current opportunities and challenges in Farm to Institution, the experience for institutions using local suppliers, how to start building connections, as well as guidance for farmers on how to scale up and enter the wholesale Farm to Institution market.
The panelists for CADE’s May 26 Wholesale Readiness Webinar have diverse backgrounds and experience in New York’s Farm to Institution market, and will share their work in the field, as well as answer questions from attendees. The panelists include:
Julia Van Loon, founder and President of Slate Foods, a NYS beef producer and food product supplier, has been working with public schools since 2002 to develop and enhance foodservice programs through sourcing more local ingredients and incorporating scratch cooking techniques for menu enhancement.
Chris Hartman, founder and President of Headwater Food Hub (Rochester, NY), a NYS-focused Food Hub committed to developing a socially and environmentally sustainable food system for the Northeast Region. Headwater works with over 200 farmers and food producers, and sells to individuals, restaurants, retailers, institutions, food manufacturers, and to other distribution partners.
Michael Mangieri, Executive Chef at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House (NYC), a settlement house that provides an extensive array of effective and integrated human services (social, educational, legal, health, housing, mental health, nutritional and fitness).
Evelyn Garcia, Chef at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s The Teaching Kitchen (NYC), a training and technical assistance program to help nonprofit organizations to convert their food services to a farm-to-institution model by serving more fresh, healthy and local food, without raising costs.
Local food procurement addresses wide-reaching, growing concerns faced by communities in New York and around the country about food access, sustainability and a national supply chain increasingly unable to meet demand, and made all the more fragile in times of instability like the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Creating a localized food system in New York thwarts these issues, while strengthening farms, building local economies, supporting sustainability, and guaranteeing more healthy food for more New Yorkers.
CADE’s work in Farm to Institution is focused on strengthening the supply chain by equipping farmers with business tools and resources to scale up, empowering institutions to seek local suppliers, and creating tools that connect the two, like the recently launched ripeCommunity online directory and matchmaking platform. Multi-year funding to support the Emerging Markets Training Program will enable CADE to continue developing projects to complement its technical assistance and educational components with matchmaking and marketing support to help farm and food businesses gain traction in institutional markets.
–Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE)
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