The Institutional Food Market Coalition (IFM), a project of Dane County, is launching a new website to help connect large volume institutional buyers with locally grown WI fruit and produce, and to help create new market opportunities for Dane County and regional producers.
“During these difficult economic times it’s even more important to invest in our economy by buying locally,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said. “Since it began, the Institutional Food Market Coalition has connected Dane County facilities and regional institutions with food grown close to home.”
In 2007, IFM and Badgerland Produce Co-op Auction (Montello, WI) teamed up to help four institutions purchase over 19,000 lbs. of local product including Dane County’s primary vendor Consolidated Food Services. In 2008, their success was even greater than projected. Sixteen institutions, including hospitals, universities, corporations, a hotel and numerous others from Dane County, Milwaukee, and as far away as Chicago, bought approximately 90,000 lbs. of locally grown fruit and produce. In 2009, the demand is expected to grow significantly.
In response to this new market, IFM is launching a website, www.ifmwi.org, that will provide information for large volume buyers on how to source locally and for growers interested in selling to institutions. In February, Dane County will partner with Dane County-UW Extension to conduct outreach to local growers interested in selling to institutions.
For more information about buying or selling large volumes of locally grown fruit or produce, contact Olivia Parry, IFM Coordinator, Dane County Planning and Development Dept., at 608-266-4270, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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