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Access to Food
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Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets
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688 Action Items Found
Increase state funding for buy local organizations to at least $500,000 annually .
Support and expand the UMass Ethnic Crops Program Amherst’s Stockbridge School of Agriculture.
Conduct a study of cultural produce preferences and needs. Disseminate results to farmers to inform crop selection based on market demand.
Continue to educate health care providers, regulators, and medical schools about the ways they can increase the public’s consumption of healthy, local food.
Develop an inventory of effective local food incentive programs and best practices to share with health practitioners and insurers.
Replicate and disseminate best practices by health care providers that increase the consumption of healthy Massachusetts-produced foods.
Continue to support health care providers and regulators to incentivize purchases of healthy, Massachusetts-produced foods, through programs such as vegetable prescriptions and other healthy food incentive programs.
Dedicate resources for a full-time staff position at MDAR to provide technical support and build relationships to facilitate Massachusetts farms, fisheries, and businesses to participate in the wholesale and hotel, restaurant, and institution markets.
Educate retailers and distributors about the benefits of carrying and promoting Massachusetts products.
Provide information to distributors about locally grown, raised, caught, and produced products available for wholesale in the state.
Develop and pilot workable arrangements that avoid empty or partially empty loads in shipping vehicles and disseminate as models.
Support the work of distribution ‘matchmakers’ that connect food producers and processors with markets.
Collect information on wholesale sales and distribution for specific products such as cranberries, apples, dairy, lettuce, maple syrup, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, as well as other important Massachusetts products and cultural foods. Use this data as a benchmark to measure efforts to increase local production in the Commonwealth.
Research and disseminate information about the chain of certification from producer to wholesale dock, especially in regard to non-Massachusetts and global production, and use that information to propose changes in distribution practices to provide better access to wholesale markets for local producers.
Analyze successful and failed distribution business models and develop case studies. Disseminate the information and data.
Inventory and map aggregation opportunities that can facilitate small-scale producers selling to large-scale operations. As part of this information, gather data on quality specifications, packaging, and volume requirements.
Create and maintain a publicly available list and map of distribution, storage, and aggregation operations, including capacity, location, and services for produce, farm products, processed food, and fish and other seafood.
Develop and disseminate tools for food producers that enable them to identify markets based on their product specifications and quantities.
Identify, through discussion with public and private stakeholders, state policies that impede the distribution of Massachusetts food, and revise accordingly.
Disseminate information to food system businesses about programs that support purchasing of local goods, including E.O. 503 Small Business Purchasing Program and the Supplier Diversity Program.