Taste, learn, repeat
What: Virtual Farm to Table Trade Meeting
When: 9:00 am Tue., Feb. 23
Cost: $25-$50 (tasting boxes sold separately)
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
It’s not mandatory to register for Sustainable Connections’ annual Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting in order to procure one of the three tasting boxes being sold in advance of the virtual event taking place Tues., Feb. 23, but those who do attend will get the chance to gain valuable insight about the nearly 40 regional producers whose edible wares they’re nibbling on or sipping from.
At press time, it appeared the Fresh Box had sold out, but thankfully the rumor was unfounded. Among the more than two dozen gustatory goodies included in the deluxe package are shortbread cookies from Breadfarm, Vache from Samish Bay Cheese, Lummi Island Wild’s smoked wild sockeye salmon, and offerings from Kombucha Town, Bright & Sunny, Girl Meets Dirt, SVB Fairhaven Mill, Patty Pan Cooperative, Honest Biscuits, Grace Harbor Farms, Daniel’s Artisan, and many more.
Act quickly—specifically by noon on Fri., Feb. 12—and it may still be possible to call dibs on the Fresh Box, a Pantry Box or a Sipping Box. The former contains a shelf-stable selection of local products and includes a number of the sweet and savory selections mentioned above. The latter includes a “delightful mix” of locally and regionally produced adult beverages from the likes of Aslan Brewing Co., Atwood Farm Brewery, Bellingham Cider Company, Garden Path Fermentation, and Olympic Cellars Winery (among others). If all three choices sell out, it will mean more than $35,000 will go to the producers, so don’t delay.
Once the box business has been taken care of, turn your attention to the Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting lineup. Per usual, the event invites people working in the food and farm community to connect, create and strengthen market partnerships, and learn from each other about programs and solutions supporting the needs of businesses and organizations.
Not so typical is some of the subject matter that will be discussed during the organization’s first virtual event, including topics related to COVID-19 and racial justice. The keynote panel, “Imagining a Just Food Recovery,” kicks off the meeting with a conversation including Tarik Abdullah (Feed the People), Adasha Turner (Modest Family Solutions), and Brandon Revey (Revey Diesel & Marine).
Small group networking and breakout sessions on “Food Systems Resiliency: Insights from Regional Food Hubs” and “Leveraging Technology in the Food System” will follow before everybody breaks for lunch (that’s when those tasting boxes will come in handy). After attendees log back in, they can choose between “Scaling Up for Wholesale Production: A Case Study in Cooperative Crop Planning” or “Market Trends and Food Access in Response to COVID” with Jennifer Otten and Sarah Collier of the University of Washington. Before the action wraps up, choose from a Buyer-Producer Meet-up or a Just Food Recovery Interactive Session.
Those who sign up for the Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting will also gain access to Food Biz Week, which Sustainable Connections is hosting with the Seattle Good Business Network and Business Impact NW from Feb. 22-26. Among the topics during the course of the week will be land access challenges, a panel discussion on new markets and channels that have emerged or expanded as a result of the pandemic, exploring post-COVID sales channels, financing and funding options, food service outlooks and successful pivots during the pandemic and beyond.
While learning more about the ins and outs of the food industry, those with tasting boxes nearby can connect with some of the producers virtually and learn more about what they’re bringing to the table. Hopefully, it will be a delicious process you can repeat throughout the day.
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