Image: Hank Bissell - Lewis Creek Farm, Starksboro
July 19, 2021 | Montpelier, VT – This summer, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets’ Produce Program partnered with growers to celebrate the steps they take to bring food from the field to customers. The campaign features Vermont farmers telling their stories, a message that puts a face with the product and invites all Vermonters to value the food they buy, how it’s produced, and who grows it.
“In Vermont, people really care about buying locally, and putting a face with the product. It was a growing plant, it was a crop. As soon as you cut it, it’s food. And you’ve got to keep it clean.” – Hank Bissell, Lewis Creek Farm of Starksboro.
Image on right: Melissa Mazza - Sam Mazza's Farm Market, Colchester
The Vermont Produce Program works with farmers across the state to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, which sets standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of fruits and vegetables. Vermont’s farmers work hard to implement best practices for food safety and strengthen consumer confidence in the quality and safety of local fresh fruits and vegetables.
“We feel like there’s a responsibility to our customers. We really want to give them a product that they can trust. “Providing food to families that really care about what they eat is the best part of what we do.” – Taylor Mendell, Footprint Farm of Starksboro.
Image on left: Taylor Mandell - Footprint Farm, Starksboro
In developing this unique marketing initiative, the Vermont Produce Program took a collaborative approach to raising awareness about the culture of produce safety on local farms and why it matters to consumers. A partnership with DigInVT.com created a landing spot for consumers to find local farms producing fresh produce. Farms that wish to be listed on DigInVT.com are invited to get in touch with the Vermont Produce Program at AGR.FSMA@vermont.gov.
“The Vermont Produce Program … it means good food. Quality food. And the support of Vermont farms. I know, coming off our farm, it was handled properly. I know our best practices. It’s the culture of our farm. – Melissa Mazza, Sam Mazza's Farm Market of Colchester.
In addition, farmers were surveyed on what they want their communities to know about their produce safety practices. You can find fresh Vermont produce at your local farm, farmers market, and grocery store. “Good for you and your family. Good for Vermont.”
To learn more about the campaign visit, diginvt.com/vermont-produce-program/