After a year of collaboration, FINE's New England Food Processors’ Community of Practice is pleased to release a dramatic short video and suite of seven comprehensive case studies that highlight some of the challenges to processing local food and the innovative solutions that are helping bring local products to institutions and other markets in the region.
During the year, staff from seven New England processing operations visited each others' facilities to engage in peer learning around food safety, equipment selection, marketing strategies, and many other topics. Participants discussed barriers, strategies, and opportunities, some unique but most common to all, and came away with fresh inspiration, new resources, and a stronger professional network to draw on in the future.
Video: About Local Food Processing in New England
We hope these new communication products will be valuable to others interested in learning how to get more local food to institutions, other local food processors, and anyone thinking about starting and operating a processing facility.
We want to thank some people who made this project such a success, starting with The John Merck Fund and other funders who stepped up to make the project possible. Project coordinators Alissa Mathews and Nico Lustig, who played a pivotal role in organizing a multi-faceted and ever-changing scope. Nathaniel Brooks, who researched and wrote the in-depth case studies, and FINE's Communication Coordinator Kaitlin Haskins who packaged the content into its beautiful final form. And finally, videographer Silas Hagerty of Smooth Feather Productions, who beautifully captured the unique voices of the New England Food Processors’ Community of Practice members doing this important work.
Case Studies: Local Food Processing Best Practices
For more information on the project, visit FINE's New England Food Processors’ Community of Practice webpage or attend a presentation by participating food processors at the upcoming Harvest New England Conference (March 7-9 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts) or the 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit (April 5-7 in Leominster, Massachusetts).