Farm to Institution is a term that encompasses Farm to School, Farm to College and Farm to Hospital, as well as other institutions serving the public. NOFA-VT, as a partner in VT FEED, works to build consumer demand for local and regional organic food at institutions to both strengthen our agricultural economy, and create a values-based local and regional supply chain.
NOFA-VT, as a partner in VT FEED is a collaborative partner with the Farm to Institution New England (FINE) Network, a six state regional network of organizations working to increase the amount of local food sourcing that takes place on college and university campuses, within K-12 schools, and at hospitals. We believe that the New England market will benefit our Vermont producers and consistent access to affordable, healthy, regionally-grown foods for institutional facilities.
NOFA Vermont's Farm to Institution goals
NOFA-VT works to meet Farm to Institution goals by 1) building relationships between Vermont farmers and Vermont institutions to share promising practices and meet purchasing goals, 2) increasing collaboration within the local and regional food supply chain, and 3) sharing promising practices from Vermont with the greater New England region, and then sharing those lessons from other New England states that will be helpful to Vermont. We place a high priority in developing these relationships - with individuals, businesses and organizations - to build the market and consumer demand for local and organic foods
Values-based tiered buying model
In addition, we have developed a values-based tiered buying model specific for 1) ultra-local purchasing, 2) VT plus 30 miles, and 3) regional, for institutional sales and other wholesale markets. To support this model, we:
- Provide technical assistance to buyers and producers in VT to expand local and regional food in the supply chain.
- Identify producers interested in expanding to wholesale markets and connect them to technical assistance for scaling up or developing new markets.
- Created the resources for all institutions (adjusted for all states) that are working to develop their local food buying programs and to market these programs to their customers, administrators, or other staff.