Annual Meeting 2022
The VFN Annual Meeting is a chance to connect with farmers, food producers, distributors, chefs and other culinary professionals and it is your chance to shape VFN's work for the upcoming year. This year instead of meeting in person, we had a virtual annual meeting.
2021 Overview and 2022 plans
- A highlight of 2021 was partnering with members and sponsors. Our summer picnic series with Shelburne Farms, Spruce Peak, and Artisan Eats to celebrate 25 years and our partnership with Farrell Distributing, Snow Farm Vineyard and Eden Specialty Ciders as part of Farrell's give back program.
- Over the last few years, Vermont Fresh Network’s major marketing focus has been on promoting Vermont culinary and agricultural tourism with DigInVT.com. As we head into 2022, food transparency across the food system is more important than ever. Our work with DigIn establishes a platform for collaboration across multiple organizations for the shared goal of strengthening Vermont’s agricultural and culinary tourism. We use it to increase our reach and expand our marketing services for members in many ways. Including Information sharing & technical assistance, big projects with collaborative teams, smaller projects in partnership and statewide policy discussions
- We have a number of projects on the horizon. Looking ahead to 2022, as part of our current grant to strengthen agritourism in Vermont…the 8th annual Open Farm Week is scheduled for August and we will be hosting a series of four networking events across the state to connect farmers, chefs, and other professionals with resources from statewide efforts and encourage partnerships and business connections. The first will be in March at 14th Star Brewing in St. Albans. Some of our 2021 work included working with a destination and tourism marketing agency to develop a multi-stakeholder marketing plan for Vermont agritourism. We’ll be receiving the final report in the next few weeks.
- This coming summer, we hope to have our first Annual Forum in two years. In past years, that has been our major fundraising event and we are looking forward to bringing it back! Save the date for July 31, 2022.
For 25 years, Vermont Fresh Network has prioritized a vibrant food system that relies on the relationships between the farmers who grow our food and the chefs and makers who prepare it. Our social mission is grounded in environmental sustainability, the strength of rural communities, and food system transparency. The last two years have upended the food system, and the business landscape for food producers, farms and restaurants. How can Vermont Fresh Network adapt to further our impact, and support our members in 2022 and beyond? We invite you to share your experiences, discuss challenges and identify opportunities for our members and our organization. Join the VFN Board, Staff and fellow Network members as we move forward together as a connected and stronger Vermont Fresh Network.
Agenda & Schedule:
4 pm Welcome & Plenary
- VFN year in review
- 2022 Plans
- Membership Update
4:30 - 5:20 Small group discussion
First small group discussion and each group reporting back
- Since January 2020, culinary, farm and producer members have been operating in a rapidly changing business landscape and have been forced to rethink their way of doing business. What were your biggest obstacles in the last two years? What changes have you made?
- Has the last two years presented any opportunities for your business? What is the greatest positive change that you have made that will now be a part of the future of your organization.
- Second small group discussion and each group reporting back to the larger group.
- Vermonters and visitors to the state value the authentic farm and local food experiences that DigInVT promotes as part of the VFN’s efforts to link our working lands to local food. In addition to on-farm, agritourism connects with experiences in other food/beverage aligned sectors including restaurants, outdoor rec. activities, breweries and many others. In addition to networking or matchmaking events, how can VFN facilitate connections and build partnerships to cultivate this broader umbrella of food and farm tourism?
- For 25 years, Our social mission has prioritized environmental sustainability, the strength of rural communities, and in particular food system transparency. Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond, we know that climate change, shifts in the labor force, and mitigating food waste are just a few of the issues that will impact Vermont’s food and farm sector. How has this affected decision making for you and in your organization? What kind of small or large changes are you planning for the greatest impact?
5:30 pm End.