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688 Action Items Found
Encourage programming that complements farm-to-institution initiatives in public and private universities and schools, such as schoolyard gardening, and agriculture and nutrition education.
Encourage programming that complements institution initiatives in public and private health care facilities, such as vegetable prescription programs.
Develop a metric to measure consumption of Massachusetts-grown and -processed foods, including seafood and seafood products.
Explore methods of tracking local food purchases to inform market development, using a system such as the one successfully being used by local fisheries, developed by Red’s Best.
Conduct research on the market impact of production and management practices – such as organic certification, the use of GMOs, the use of alternative fuels, and others – and disseminate that information to farmers and producers to inform their responses to demand.
Develop standardized guidelines regarding the use of the word ‘local’ when advertising and marketing food. The guidelines should be designed primarily to support Massachusetts growers, fishermen, manufacturers, and retailers, and secondarily to support New England growers, fishermen, manufacturers, and retailers.
Dedicate funding to engage outside expertise to evaluate the effectiveness of existing MDAR brands including Mass Grown and Fresher, Made with Pride, Savor Massachusetts, Commonwealth Quality, and other local and regional brands. Based on the findings, develop funding and marketing recommendations for revived programs or for a new branding initiative. Develop program requirements to ensure that any products bearing the brands are grown, processed, and distributed following appropriate food safety standards and using environmentally sustainable practices. Develop and implement strategies to educate the public about the program’s standards. Provide funding for a full time brand manager based at MDAR to oversee the program.
Dedicate funding to support buy-local organization promotion efforts, the Massachusetts Seafood Marketing Program, and other sectoral Marketing campaigns. Incentivize and support these branding efforts to collaborate with and complement state campaigns. Establish a board, chaired by MDAR and comprised of buy-local and commodity groups, to facilitate coordination of branding and Marketing efforts where appropriate.
Promote the use of the Massachusetts state brand by food businesses distributing local foods and food products outside of Massachusetts.
Collaborate with New England and other Northeastern states in the integration of standards, co-promotion of state brands, strengthening and promoting the Harvest New England Brand, and identifying opportunities where the regional brand should be used.
Have the Massachusetts Attorney General enforce truth-in-advertising laws on food products sold in Massachusetts concerning point of origin and other claims.
Train farmers and fishermen in point-of-sale packaging, branding, labeling and identification, particularly when selling in the wholesale chain.
Strengthen technical assistance capability within MDAR to help farms develop integrated, cost effective marketing plans for both retail and wholesale channel development.
Develop a grant program for innovations in agricultural marketing related to production, processing, marketing, and distribution.
Provide technical assistance and marketing resources to strengthen farmers markets, CSAs, and roadside stands.
Provide incentives to local processors, distributors, retailers, and restaurants that feature Massachusetts-grown and -produced foods.
Dedicate MDAR staff resources to facilitate interactions between growers and producers of Massachusetts foods, retail and wholesale buyers, and individual businesses, to develop direct sales relationships.
Strengthen inter-agency collaboration between MDAR, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, the Massachusetts Small Business Administration, universities, and others to support the development of new value-added market opportunities.
Identify, support, and expand opportunities for the development of markets outside of the Commonwealth, regionally, domestically, and internationally through the establishment of targeted out-of-area promotional and sourcing plans.
Promote export development programs and services at the state and federal level to Massachusetts farms and other food businesses, and coordinate development and expansion of these markets.