Rewards, risks of food production covered at forum

ELIZA LA ROCCA, co-owner at Farmhouse Chocolates + Ice Cream of Bristol, discusses opportunities of growing her business through the New York markets with others at the annual Producer, Buyer and Distributor Forum on Oct. 16 at Middlebury College’s Kirk Alumni Hall. Courtesy photo

MIDDLEBURY — The 4th Annual Producer, Buyer and Distributor Forum took place Oct. 16 at Middlebury College’s Kirk Alumni Hall. The theme of this year’s sold-out event covered the rewards and risks of growing food businesses and connected buyers, producers across all food categories, distributors and food systems thinkers. 

Keynote speaker Dan Horan from New York’s Five Acre Farms discussed their “Positively Local!” campaign and the realistic rises and pitfalls of scaling a local foods business. 

Panelists from Skinny Pancake, FinAllie Ferments, Potlicker Kitchen, Sweet Clover Market, Associated Buyers of New Hampshire, Sam Mazza Farm, Pumpkin Village Foods and Venetian Ginger Ale gave specific perspectives on the challenges and opportunities presented in each of their businesses and sectors. Round table discussions and time for networking over a local foods lunch allowed everyone to connect on deeper levels. 

The Forum was sponsored by Vermont Farm to Plate, ACORN and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. 

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Addison County Independent