Robin Morris (802) 498-7379
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Waitsfield, VT—January 17th 2012 — Vermont’s first Small Scale Food Processing facility has officially opened the doors to local farmers and food producers in Central Vermont. Governor Peter Shumlin attended the ribbon cutting at the facility today, Tuesday, January 17th.
Livestock and vegetable producers now have another way to add value to their products and tap into the growing local food movement in Vermont. The Mad River Food Hub is the first of its kind fully equipped, licensed vegetable and meat processing facility in New England. Located in Waitsfield, Vermont, it provides farmers and food producers with a wide array of commercial scale meat and vegetable processing equipment, as well as on-¬‐site storage and distribution services to local market outlets.
The Mad River Food Hub complements what the Vermont Food Venture Center offers in that it is geared to even smaller scale producers and has the only fully licensed, shared meat processing space in the state. Consumer appetite for locally raised meat and homemade sausage is growing rapidly and the Mad River Food Hub is poised to help farmers and chefs to tap into this expanding market.
Conceived in 2010 and constructed in 2011, the Mad River Food Hub is the first fully equipped, licensed vegetable and meat processing facility in the State of Vermont (& NE USA). It offers farmers and food producers affordable, daily rental of state licensed meat and vegetable processing rooms, together with on-site storage and distribution services to local market outlets. www.madriverfoodhub.com/about/
The design and implementation of the Mad River Food Hub’s services relied extensively on the research, data and analysis from the State’s Farm to Plate Strategic Plan. Funding for this facility was provided by a number of state, federal and foundation funds as well as private investment.
“ This new facility will is the first for-profit food hub and the only facility in the North East USA that combines a, State-inspected meat & vegetable facility” said founder Robin Morris. “We also chose to organize as a for-profit business as we felt it provided a more likely longevity for the services offered.” Over 10 local farms and food producers are already using the Mad River Food Hub’s services including: Vermont Bean Crafters, The Vermont Meat Company, Vermont Raw Pet Food, Lawson’s Finest, Gaylord Farm, Kingsbury Market Gardens, Screamin Ridge Farm, Knoll Farm, Tannery Farm & Three Springs Farm.
The Mad River Food Hub is the result of many years of discussion and collaboration with the Mad River Valley Localvore Project, Valley Futures Network, Mad River Valley Planning District, Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce, Vermont Land Trust, Farmers, Businesses, Non-profit Organizations and residents. Funding has come from a variety of sources including, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund - Farm to Plate, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board Farm Viability Program, Vermont Agriculture Innovation Center, Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant and local residents.