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MA Food Processors Resource Guide
This guide supports new and growing value-added agricultural and entrepreneurial food business with approachable information about what’s needed to start a food business. It includes basic information about what’s needed to start a food business. Incorporating safety early-on helps to keep development costs in check and avoid delays in time to market. Newly developed videos emphasize product development and food safety resources.
Funding for the development and outreach on some of the above materials was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM1901004XG150 . Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.
CT River Valley Commercial Kitchens and Resources
This is a list of of commercial kitchens and resources in Hampshire, Hamden, and Franklin counties as well as a few resources just outside this region. These kitchens are potentially available for farmers who are seeking space to trial value added prototypes or produce value added foods on an ongoing basis.
For a list of kitchens outside of Hampshire, Hamden, and Franklin County visit MDAR’s Kitchens in MA page.
A Legal Guide for Community Kitchens in Massachusetts
Conservation Law Foundation
This guide provides an overview of the legal issues you should consider when starting or using a community kitchen. It offers guidance on several key legal considerations for food entrepreneurs, including choosing a business structure, determining what permits and licenses will be needed, managing risk, and developing a community kitchen use agreement.
Options for freezing produce in western Massachusetts
Many growers in our region sell direct to consumers in order to get the best price and provide fresh, high quality produce. While viable market niches for frozen produce may be developed, aggregating sufficient produce for volume freezing and finding a price point that works for growers, processor, and buyers will present challenges. CISA conducted research in cooperation with the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center (FPC) at the Franklin County CDC.
Building a Brand for Value-Added Products
Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
A quick list of some things to think about when launching a brand.
Starting a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are great ways to increase value-added sales. This guide will help you create and manage one.
ATTRA Value-Added Food Products Resources
Looking for specific guides for adding value to particular products such as grain or pork? ATTRA has many tipsheets available for free online.
Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grants
May be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy. Planning grants are available of up to $75,000 and working capital grants are available up to $250,000. Note that the USDA offers a simplified application process for working capital grants requesting less than $50,000, and unlike larger grant requests these simplified applications do not have to include an in-depth business planning and feasibility study. An excellent guide to applying for Value-Added Producer Grants is here. Application dates based on notice of federal funding availability.