Member Directory   Members Only   Membership   Contact Us   Recipes   News & Events   
  News & Events

ACORN Producers and Buyers Forum: Conversations Across the Local Food Spectrum

November 7, 2017

Growers, food producers, buyers and distributors attended the Producers and Buyers Forum: Local to Global.

Hosted by ACORN, Addison County Relocalization Network. The Forum took place on November 2nd at the McCullough Student Center. The Forum started with a Keynote by Greg Georgaklis of Farmers to You, linking together issues around local and national food production and distribution.  Consolidation within production, distribution and retail outlets impacts Vermont producers’ profit margins for their fresh and valued-added products.


Unlike many gatherings, ACORN’s focus was on the ability for deep conversations among peers to explore various perspectives around existing and emerging local food markets including, the “Amazon effect”, new markets and market opportunities for crafted ingredients such as CBD hemp, artisan produced hop varieties, Healthcare Share prescriptions and distribution variables.


Topics were introduced by panelists including Jonathan Slason of Resource Systems Group, Kathleen Norris of Homestead Hops, Gemma DiPalma of Five Acre Farms Ben Maniscalco of Benito's Hot Sauce, Dan Chang of Kria, among other notable speakers. Following the panels was 2 hours of in depth conversations among attendees where business connections were made and information shared.


Tom Berry, Agricultural Policy Advisor for Senator Leahy’s Office said of the Forum, “I benefited greatly from the meeting.  It brought together many energized and creative Vermonters working and taking risks in agricultural businesses. These folks represent important parts of Vermont's economic and agricultural future. ” Also representing our federal representatives was Erica Campbell, Outreach Representative for Bernie Sanders, “ACORN has long connected farmers with consumers, and now we’re seeing even more ways that local food can improve access to nutritious foods needed to keep people healthy. Programs such as Health Care Shares vegetable ‘prescriptions’ are helping make farm-fresh food more available and affordable for Vermonters. We are excited to see that Addison County now has its first Health Care Shares program up and running at Mountain Health Center in Bristol. Senator Sanders would like to see more federal support for ‘food as medicine’ programs, and Community Health Centers are well-positioned to provide healthy food to patients who need it most.”


ACORN hosted the first forum in March of 2016 to bring together buyers and producers around topics of interest to increase distribution opportunities. The Forums are designed to develop new relationships that stimulate business through deep, honest peer to peer conversations.  ACORN Board member, Rich Carpenter, said  “I was delighted with the level of discussion, collaboration and follow-up from the Health Care break-out group.  These forums are a real contribution to the community and accentuate our role as convener and catalyst.”


Attendees traveled across Vermont from the NE Kingdom to Londonderry to share insights and input in conversations on the state of local and regional markets that impact farmers, value-added and specialty foods businesses that will help Vermont reach the Farm to Plate network goals to increase production and sale of Vermont products both within Vermont and the NE region.


Questions: Contact Annie Harlow 802-922-7060 

Date: Thursday, November 2, 2017

Location: Wilson Hall, McCullough Student Center, Middlebury College, 14 Old Chapel Road, Middlebury, VT


ACORN (Addison County Relocalization Network) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community organization based in Middlebury, VT whose mission is to promote the growth and health of local food and agriculture in Vermont’s Southern Champlain Valley. We are working with growers, schools, businesses and community and statewide partners to double the consumption of locally-grown food by 2020. For more information,

Contact Information:
Annie Harlow

Vermont Sugarmakers Reflect on New Challenges

Pints of Passion: Gelato Company Scoops Out Quality Flavors

Announcing the Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program 2018 Request for Proposals!

Localvore expansion to MA and ME is growth model for job creation in VT

Report: Workforce development critical to sustain local food economy

Special thanks to Vermont dairy farmers on National Milk Day

Wonkblog Organic food fraud leads Congress to weigh bill doubling USDA oversight

Gut Health Tops Nutrition Trends for 2018

Up to $60,000 available through Local Food Market Development Grant program

VSFA Welcomes New Members

Bennington distiller adds partners

Vermont’s workforce dilemma


Famous Vt. Baking Brand Sees Growth, Thanks in Part to Retail Giant


2018 Good Food Awards Finalists

Specialty Food Category Forecasts

SFA's Trendspotters' Top Trends for 2018

Policy and Communications Director Named at Agriculture

Produce Safety Improvement Grant Program Accepting Applications on November 15

Vermont Village Introduces Apple Cider Drinking Vinegars

FDA publishes more menu labeling guidance

ACORN Producers and Buyers Forum: Conversations Across the Local Food Spectrum

Cabot Creamery chooses FirstLight for data services

Workforce development, business succession plans required for food industry growth

Ag Agency Accepts Applications for Trade Show Assistance Grants

Amazon has slashed seller fees to try to improve its grocery selection online

At Neighborly Farms, Producing Cheddar Is a Family Affair

Community Capital of Vermont receives $1 million for microloans

Gov. Scott Celebrates Vermont’s Farm To School Grant Program With Students

Amazon's Stealth Takeover of Vermont

Vermont Agency of Agriculture Announces $1M in Grant Funding for Farm Capital Equipment Assistance Program

H Kenneth Merritt, Jr selected as ‘Super Lawyer’ for 5th Time


New England Super Lawyers recognizes seven PF+C Attorneys

Vermont businesses generate over $1.8M in total sales at The Big E

Working Lands Financing Conference

What Section 179 Expensing Means for Your Business

Scott signs proclamation designating October as Employee Ownership Month

Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces $750,000 in Available Investments To Help Grow Vermont’s Economy

Vermont Artisan Coffee moves, opens coffee bar to rave reviews

2017-2018 Windham Region CEDS Update

Vt. Governor Proclaims October Farm to School Month, New Grant Opportunities Released

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets Announces Over $1M in Available Grant Funds

New Improvements to State Building Help Showcase Vermont Tradition and Emerging High-Quality Agricultural Products

Apple Season Has Arrived in Vermont – Get Picking!

From Wallflower to Expert Networker

Rooted in Vermont: Uniting all Vermonters around Local Food

Vermont Products Win Big at the 2017 Fancy Food Show

Job Opening: Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund Project Manager

Fuel Your Passion with Lake Champlain Chocolates’ Fifth Limited-Edition Bar for 2017 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival

Cabot receives 2017 Tourism Partner of the Year

2017 sofi Awards Winners

City Market, Onion River Co-op Celebrates Earth Week

Craftsbury Farmers' Market Looking for Vendors

2nd Annual Green Mountain Fair at Manchester seeking Vendors

Maple Syrup Never Tasted So Good

Vermont Artisan Coffee and Tea Makes the Big Move!

City Market Awards Co-Op Patronage Seedling Grants to 8 Local Non -Profits

Cabot Sets World Record for Largest Smoothie!

Vermont Fresh Pasta Celebrating 25 years!

Gringo Jack’s Flaky Chips Verified Non-GMO

Lake Champlain Chocolates to Host New Organic Bar Tastings

Lake Champlain Chocolates Debuts 4 New Organic Bars at Specialty Foods Winter Fancy Food Show

Castleton Crackers Debuts Colorful and Compact New Packaging

Runamok makes Oprah's Favorite Things List

Japanese consumers rave over Vermont products


Vermont Creamery's Non-GMO Cheese Hits the Market

Lake Champlain Chocolates achieves SQF Level 2 Certification

A Tour of Vermont Tortilla Company

Blake Hill opens Windsor plant

Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces $650,000 in Available Grant Funds and Two Innovative New Loan Programs

Lake Champlain Chocolates + Silo Distillery = A match made in heaven

Maple Syrup Breaks Away From Breakfast

US Chocolate Market to Reach $30B

Member Directory    |    Membership    |    Site Map    |    Recipes    |    Contact Us    |    Home
The official web site of the Vermont Specialty Food Association
148 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: 802.839.1930 Email:
©2015 Vermont Specialty Food Association. All rights reserved.

Designed & CMS by Cambium Group, LLC