The purpose of this grant is to foster Vermont producers’ access to wholesale markets and to increase the quantity of local food available in Vermont institutions and other Vermont wholesale markets by addressing barriers in the supply chain. This program encourages local food wholesale market development opportunities with an institutional focus across the state from Vermont farmers, producer groups, and value-chain facilitators. Proposed projects must improve quality, efficiency, or food safety; address distribution challenges; or mitigate the financial risks associated with scaling up to meet new market demands.
How to Apply
- Download the Local Food Market Development Grant Program 2019 Request for Proposals (RFP).
- Sign up for a WebGrants account, VAAFM's online Grants Management System (GMS).
- Submit your application in WebGrants from January 7, 2019 – January 31, 2019.
Proposals addressing market access in Vermont institutions, defined as colleges and universities, early childcare and pre-k-12 schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities, and wholesale market access, including grocery stores, independent retail, and food co-ops, will be considered. Grants will be distributed through a competitive application review process to agricultural producers, producer groups, and value-chain facilitators. To qualify for funding consideration, applicants must either be a Vermont producer or producer group in pursuit of institutional or in-state wholesale market development, or a value-chain facilitator that will directly support Vermont producers’ access to institutional or wholesale market expansion in Vermont.
Grants ranging from 2k – 5k will be targeted towards:
- Infrastructure Development: on-farm capital improvements, equipment purchases
- Technology: accounting, tracking, and/or sales software, website, or app development
- Market Access and Development: innovative solutions to logistics and/or distribution
- Applications that fail to demonstrate how wholesale market access will be improved.
- Applications for vehicles or land.
- Applicants out of compliance with any federal, state or local laws or regulations.
- Applicants not engaged in commercial agriculture.
- Applicants producing value-added products with less than 51% Vermont grown ingredients.
- Applicants who failed to meet requirements for previous Agency grants and/or assistance programs, or from individuals or groups unable to perform or currently experiencing performance issues with previous Agency grant obligations.
- Applications for already completed projects for which the applicant seeks reimbursement.
Grants are distributed, through a competitive application review process, to agricultural producers, producer groups, and value-chain facilitators that are addressing market access in Vermont institutions, defined as colleges and universities, early childcare and pre-k-12 schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities, and wholesale market access, including grocery stores, independent retail, and food co-ops. All applicants must demonstrate 25% of the total grant award in matching funds. All project funds must be obligated by April 1st, 2019 and project work must be completed within one calendar year from the time applicant’s grant agreements are finalized.
Over the past 7 years the Vermont state legislature has annually appropriated funds to the VAAFM to support market opportunities with an institutional or other wholesale focus in Vermont.