Indiana Farm Connect
Indiana Farm Connect is a research and implementation project aimed at connecting local suppliers and buyers in our Indiana food system. Four value chain coordinators have been hired to help increase local food sales to wholesale buyers throughout Indiana. The Value chain coordinators will spend time talking with buyers, farmers, distributors, aggregators, processors and organizations to better understand the needs, suggest strategies for change, and build networks to drive economic opportunities for Indiana’s agricultural and food systems.
Farm & Food Businesses:
Are you interested in exploring how to connect with wholesale buyers in your region?
Are you already selling some wholesale food, but would like to do more?
Are you interested in redirecting a portion of what you grow for more local sales to institutional buyers like schools, universities, retirement villages, workplaces and hospitals?
Not sure where to begin? Reach out and we’d be happy to assist you and help reach your goals.
Or contact us directly!
NW Indiana Value Chain Coordinator
FARMERS: Stay tuned for our Northern Indiana Farmer Needs Assessment Survey. Your input will help us identify challenges and opportunities in order to address your needs, grow your business and expand markets. Feel free to contact us with questions or ideas!
Farmer Survey Coming Soon.
BUYERS: One part of our research will focus on the current purchasing dollars and habits of private and public institutions throughout the state. By quantifying dollars spent purchasing food and what types of food are purchased, we will be able to examine and model how a shift in expenditures to local would impact our economy.
Be counted!! Please add your institutional buying information to our database by completing the buyer survey.
What is a value chain coordinator?
Rather than building a food hub or leaving farmers and buyers to connect on their own, value chain coordinators work to build economic networks by connecting food supply chain partners. They assess the needs of those in the food system and connect stakeholders with technical assistance and regulatory agencies. Value chain coordinators serve as a central point of contact for food system stakeholders in the region where they work.
Why a ‘value’ chain?
Farmers and buyers may have certain values they are seeking in food stuffs that are part of their decision on whether or not to buy. Values can include: local, fresh, high-quality, pasture-based meats, certified Organic, regional, non-GMO. Values can also be part of an adopted standards program such as the Real Food Challenge, Good Food Purchasing Program, Healthcare Without Harm, or the Green Restaurant Association. These programs have standards and metrics that enable institutional buyers to establish criteria for purchasing that will help them choose more sustainably produced food.