In late 2011 and through 2012 SEMAP piloted the Farm to Institution program, which began the comprehensive development of a wholesale market for local food in our region. The pilot identified and addressed the issues of distribution, liability insurance and payment infrastructure through a partnership with FoodEx, a for-profit start-up. We worked with a group of six farmers and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
2012 Pilot Outcomes:
- Total Sales in 2012: $73,828 worth of local produce sales to MA universities
- Total Pounds of Produce Sold: 89,305 pounds
- Participating Farms : 6 Southeastern MA farms, vetted by SEMAP, sold product to Chartwells through FoodEx
- Expanded Foodshed: 3 of the participating farms increased their previous year’s acreage (a total of 13.75 acres) to specifically meet Chartwell’s demand
- Increase in Production: Estimated at 144,000 lbs of new product
- Equipment Purchases: 2 farms purchased tractors (est. valued of $57,000+)
- Jobs: 2 farms increased their labor to meet this demand. Farm A added 4 part-time/seasonal positions; Farm B increased two part-time positions to full-time and year round status, and added 1 additional part-time/seasonal position.