Topic: Adopting New Technology & Innovation

Farmers Market Coalition

During 2020, FRESHFARM, an organization that manages farmers markets in the Washington, D.C., area, piloted a relatively low-cost device that counts the number of pings from mobile phones as they connect with a Wi-Fi network. This technology does not reveal any of the phone owner’s identifying information, nor does it collect data from phones. Instead, these counts provide a way for farmers market managers to estimate the number of visitors and their length of…

Farmers Market Coalition

For our Summer 2020 COVID Impact survey, the FMC team set a goal of 300 responses across all states, a goal which was met and then exceeded with a final count of 461 market organizations reporting in 50 states. The goal of 300 responses was made based on estimating the number of market organizations operating in the US as 3,000-4,000, estimating because the number of actual organizations is unknown. We focused our surveys on…

Farm to Institution New England

This brief highlights how healthcare facilities implemented and expanded local food initiatives during the pandemic as a means to effectively feed and care for healthcare constituents while also investing in the local food economy. Specifically, by leveraging existing partnerships and value chains, healthcare organizations moved quickly to serve their stakeholders through onsite retail (e.g. grocery) locations and expanded community supported agriculture (CSA) or produce subscription programs while continuing to support local food producers whose…

LEE Initiative

To maintain these relationships, and to create the foundation for a more resilient restaurant industry, the LEE Initiative provided stipends to local farms in 20 regions across the U.S. to ensure continued food production for restaurants. These farmers were then given a list of selected independent restaurants that could purchase farm products on credit provided by the program. This allowed restaurants to lower ingredient costs while still acquiring local products, providing high-quality food to…

WSU Bread Lab

Regional small grain value chains link local farmers, regional mills, and artisan bakers to consumers looking to support local food systems. Through the rise in popularity of artisan baking and craft brewing, the sector has enjoyed significant growth in the past decade. Identifying as ‘non-commodity’, these value chains prioritize diversified and regionalized markets, high quality grains, long term relationships between stakeholders, fair pricing, and skilled labor. The result is fresh, stone-milled specialty grain products…

CSA Innovation Network

This webinar takes a deep dive into some of the most popular software platforms for farm-specific sales, based on 2020 national farmer-survey findings. The featured speaker is Claire Strader, Organic Vegetable Educator for Dane County Extension & FairShare CSA Coalition. Claire presents on general eCommerce platforms as well as farm-specific software for CSA and direct sales! The presentation is followed by a farmer-to-farmer discussion….
Students at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy launched the Friedman Food Systems COVID-19 Connector (“Connector”), a service learning program utilizing an online platform to match organizations seeking technical assistance in their responses to COVID-19 to Tufts students with corresponding skills and interests….

Local Catch Network (University of Maine)

There are a lot of different types of tourism “trails,” from vineyards to bird watching hotspots. Oyster Trails are an emerging concept that combine food, agritourism, and shellfish farming. These trails have existed in the United States since at least the early 2000s, but have proliferated in recent years. Each Oyster Trail is unique, but most can be distinguished by two common features. First, does the Oyster Trail define routes or is it set…

Farmers Market Coalition

Too often the impacts of a crisis such as COVID-19 are not measured until long after the opportunity to implement policy and programmatic solutions has passed. In this report, researchers from three of NYC’s leading food policy and research institutions analyze COVID-19’s impact on NYC’s food system during the first six months of the pandemic. Our goal is to provide research-based recommendations for policies and programs that support food security, retail, quality, and the…
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