Growing and scaling the food system in Massachusetts will depend on the availability of infrastructure, facilities, and equipment tailored to the needs of food producers, from land to sea. Farmers and fishermen interested in adding value to the foods they harvest requires a range of food processing facilities, from dairy and cheese processing equipment, to certified kitchen spaces for food preservation, to seafood and slaughter facilities. Burgeoning entrepreneurship in specialty food processing, food trucks, and catering is encouraging the development of multi-use, shared-use kitchens. Food hubs orchestrate a combination of aggregation, storage, distribution, food processing, and retailing, and these are taking shape in the State in a number of forms. Increasing demand for locally grown and caught food by public schools, universities, and hospitals is spurring innovation in the seafood and farming sectors to meet the needs of larger institutions. To effectively and economically distribute locally produced foods, logistics and technology systems are needed in order to sell foods while maintaining its local origin identity.
While significant infrastructure already supports Massachusetts food production and processing industries, it will be important to support strategic development of new infrastructure or use of underutilized infrastructure, as efforts increase to grow the State’s food processing capacity.