This just in, from Frederick County, MD where the proposed budget includes funding for food processing and storage facilities. Some small farms have been trying to find nearby processing with the ability to store fresh or processed foods before sale. See this link:
In this year in which the economy and health of everyone has been turned upside down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems that awareness of locally grown, locally raised and locally processed foods has grown tremendously. As outbreaks of the virus occurred at major meat packing plants, many consumers turned to local butchershops and in the process they discovered farms and farmers markets they didn’t previously patronize. This has caused many farms to report huge spikes in sales and has even caused delays and shortages of products which never reach the national distribution chain but are only sold locally.
This summer, like no other summer, be sure to call ahead, but find every local source of foods that you can.
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This has been a great year for local food. Though the pressures of high volume organic producers continues and large retailers like Walmart are getting deeper into selling food which they can label local and organic, it’s becoming easier for packaged and non-packaged foods to acquire bar codes which can positively identify their source location and link to the farm’s website or other info.
IF you are interested in labeling your food products with bar-codes, see http://www.ourlocale.org and purchase a package which seems best for your farm. You can link QR codes to your farm’s website and you can find ways to print your code on labeling equipment at your local butchershop or processor ( via their label printers)
IF you think your farm is ready for label printing with QR codes or internationally accepted bar-codes ( which many stores now require) then search and select bar-codes for your farm. Each individually owned farm is entitled to reduced pricing on these codes which should help you to get your products on the shelves of your local store.
Write below in comments section if you have other recent experiences with labeling and contact the great folks at http://www.ourlocale.org for information. See Beefy Boys Jerky for examples of bar-codes on packaged foods which include farm source and processing location information.
It’s the year to find your favorite growers/farmers/processors near your home. Find them at Farmers’ Markets, local stores and let your taste buds lead you there by always asking where something good is from.
We find that many restaurants and markets will say or label food as being local, but it’s always good to ask as the temptation to buy from the cheapest source is often front and center. Encourage retail stores and restaurants to purchase from the best farms in their region by asking.
As the business progresses, bar codes help to verify where a product was grown or produced while at the same time keeping farms and suppliers in compliance with Food Safety regulations. Direct Farmers Markets and Farm Stands are mostly exempt but it’s still wise to ask if you are purchasing directly from the grower or producer, or if the seller is sourcing from other farms. Pick your favorite foods and patronize them so their sales grow. It’s a community effort, but your farmers and your health will both benefit.
It’s fun to always visit farmers markets when you travel, too. This helps local growers with occasional sales, and it’s interesting to learn about what grows in the different regions of our country.
Enjoy 2018 and we wish you happy and healthy eating.
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Is this the year for source verification – using bar codes or other technology? When you purchase, try to find the source, and when possible know and support your local food growers, preparers and everyone who supports open and clear source information on food products
Make it a resolution to buy more locally crafted foods, arts, parts, and things in general in 2015. Are the big chains and the Walton family wealth something you identify with? I’ll bet not, so support your local merchants, and buy goods where people can actually talk to you about the products and services they sell, not just scan a bar-code and check you out at the register. America needs more quality merchants and more goods that are produced stateside, not cheaper imported, poorer quality things. So, please think about where your money goes when you go shopping. Thanks for reading and for acting locally in 2015
There’s a great group forming in Montgomery County, MD to create an indoor and outdoor marketplace in North Potomac at the historic Maple Springs Barn on Darnestown road. http://friendsofmaam.com/2014/11/02/moco-agricultural-arts-indoor-market/ is where you can sign up to help or just show your support as a consumer and member public who support local farmers and artisans. It’s important that consumers show support for markets where farmers can sell directly to there customers. Sign up today!
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