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08/25/11

Food Hub Set To Launch In Mad River Valley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Mad River Food Hub To Open In Waitsfield

Community Food Processing Facility Will Serve Local Farms and Value-Added Producers

 

Waitsfield, VT—August 25, 2011—A revolution in local food production is set to launch in the Mad River Valley with the opening of Mad River Food Hub L3C (MRFH). MRFH is a new storage, processing and distribution facility based in Waitsfield that will serve the many local food producers in the region. More than ten farms and five value-added producers have already committed to using the facility including: Kingsbury Market Garden, The Vermont Meat Company, Vermont Raw, Vermont Yak and Lawson’s Finest.

 “We wanted to build a food facility that integrates the growing local food system in a way that encourages growth in capacity and demand for fresh and value-added food,” said founder Robin Morris. “We expect to see growth in the local economy through stronger farms, improved job opportunities and a greater supply of local, year-round food. The combination of sufficient population density and a good variety of producers is a big part of what makes Waitsfield the right place for this operation.”

 Using the State’s Farm to Plate 10 year strategic plan as a roadmap, this new facility will be the first for-profit food hub and the first shared-use, State-inspected meat processing facility In Vermont. The capacity for meat, produce, and specialty food processing and storage also makes it unique in the state. The social nature of the for-profit as an L3C is to be a permanent self-sustaining resource for the local farmers, value-added producers and the community of the Mad River Valley.

 Located in the Irasville District of Waitsfield, Vermont, a downtown area that serves as the Valley’s retail and commercial center, the MRFH will lease and operate out of an existing 4,000 SF of space at Irasville Business Park.  The space will include two meat-processing rooms, a smoker room, a vegetable/fruit processing room and an industrial sized cooler and freezer.

 

MRFH is the result of many years of discussion and collaboration with the Mad River Valley
Localvore Project, Valley Futures Network, Mad River Valley Planning District, Vermont Land Trust, Farmers, Businesses, Non-profit Organizations and residents. Funding has come from a variety of sources including, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund - Farm to Plate, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board Farm Viability Program, Vermont Agriculture Innovation Center, Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and local residents.

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