Taste of Place Initiative
Recommendations and research results were presented Jan. 10 as part of a special event to share the Agency of Agriculture’s recent work on Food and Place in Vermont.
Place-related marketing is a key tool for small-scale agriculture. Consumers who value high quality food are increasingly conscious of ways in which foods can embody the traditions and flavors of a specific region. Establishing a system for identifying place-based foods could be a powerful tool for agricultural regions to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. These systems can also help keep food traditions active by adding economic value, fostering communities’ pride in their local food culture, and preserving the working landscape. Countries and states around the world have decided that the taste of place is a key strategy for the survival of their small-scale producers.
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has been working on various aspects of Taste of Place, including a conference with experts from France, Quebec, and Vermont; research visits to Quebec and France; technical sessions with producers in Hardwick; and market research studies.
On October 1, a group of 57 producers, researchers, policymakers, and experts convened in Burlington for a day of presentations and focused producer working sessions. Click here for information about the meeting, including presentations, handouts, and a report from the session.
This meeting was the first in a series of fall working sessions that will result in producer-driven recommendations for a place-based marketing system for Vermont products. These recommendations will be articulated as a systemic method for promoting and preserving Vermont’s working landscape, engaging Vermonters and visitors in a meaningful way, and making better use of natural resources. The recommendations will be developed in concert with other agricultural marketing, working landscape, and rural economic development initiatives and be in line with the Farm to Plate recommendations developed by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.
For more information about the Taste of Place initiative, contact Koi Boynton at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-828-2084.