Berkshire Grown promotes buying local and facilitates direct connections between farmers and buyers in order to grow the local food economy. This work has been at the heart of Berkshire Grown since its inception and continues to be a major area of focus for us. We strengthen the farm-to-table networks in the region with a variety of initiatives:
The Farm to Table B2B Program brings local farmers and food buyers together to boost sales of local farm products and support farming as an economically-viable local industry. The Berkshire Grown staff works to facilitate and nurture healthy business relationships between our Berkshire Grown member farmers and food buyers, including restaurants, markets, hotels, inns, retail operations, and institutions.
- The annual Farm to Table Networking Event in the Winter brings farmers, food producers, and buyers together to learn who is growing what and what food buyers want from farmers and producers. New business relationships are formed, old ones are solidified, and farmers can plan their season based upon demand from buyers.
- All professional members are listed in the annual Business-to-Business Directory, and member farms, food producers and food buyers receive an updated version annually.
- Berkshire Grown staff work individually with professional members to network them according to their specific needs.
- The Berkshire Grown Online Farmers’ Market on Facebook is a public forum in which farmers, food producers, and food buyers can find each other and connect to buy and sell locally-grown food.
Annual Events such as the March Maple Dinner, the Harvest Supper, and the Berkshire Grown Winter Farmers’ Markets are opportunities for farmers, producers, and chefs to connect and collaborate with each other as well as to network with and market themselves to the public.
Year-round Publicity and Promotion get the word out to the public about buying locally and supporting our professional members. Members are highlighted in our annual Guide to Farms, which is distributed widely around the region, and are listed on Map-o-licious on our website.
In recent years, our focus on networking has expanded to incorporate the Social Networks among farmers themselves. In hosting potlucks, workshops, and producer meetings, we encourage farmers and food producers to connect, share their work with each other, and “talk shop” to problem solve and learn from each other.
To take advantage of our Networking opportunities, become a professional member of Berkshire Grown.