ASAP Local Food Strong Farms Healthy Communities

Comment. Share. Connect. Join ASAP in an ongoing conversation about local food FROM HERE in the Southern Appalachians.

Growers & Buyers

Are you a farmer looking for new places to sell your products, or a buyer looking for more local food sources?  Molly Nicholie, ASAP’s Local Food Campaign director, gives us the scoop on how farmers and buyers can establish new relationships at the grower-buyer meetings held at our Business of Farming Conference on February 22. Register and learn more about the conference here.

One of the most requested services we receive is for market connections. Requests include both buyers wanting to source local products and farmers trying to determine where to sell. Part of my job is to help make these connections. Because there are so many options for both buyers and sellers, it is often logistically difficult to set up multiple one-on-one meetings. Eight years ago, ASAP started offering grower-buyer meetings as part of our annual Business of Farming Conference. For farmers, these meetings are a great opportunity to sit down with a dozen buyers and make the personal connections that help them sell their products. The meetings also introduce farmers to the requirements for selling into different types of markets. At the same time, restaurant owners, chefs, distributors, and grocers have the opportunity to meet growers in the community and learn about the barriers and opportunities for sourcing local product.

This year, buyers will include  Biltmore, Farm Burger, French Broad Food Co-op, Greenlife Grocery, Ingles Markets, Katuah Market, Marvin’s Produce, Mountain Food Products, and Sunny Creek Farm. There are no promises made or contracts signed at these 15 minute meetings, but the one-on-ones do offer a chance to make a face-to-face connection, and begin to build relationships – which is what our local food movement is all about!

Buyers interested in participating in these types of sessions can contact me at Farmers can take advantage of this opportunity by registering for the Business of Farming Conference here. The conference also includes 15 workshops to choose from, opportunities to meet with professional consultants, a locally sourced breakfast and lunch, and more great networking opportunities. Hope to see you there!