Vermont Farm to Plate Investment Program
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund serves as the administrator of the Farm to Plate Investment Program to strengthen Vermont’s food system.
In 2009, the Farm to Plate Investment Program legislation was signed into law and added to the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund’s governing statute. This led to an extensive 12-month public engagement process to identify opportunities to strategically coordinate a systematic approach to developing Vermont’s food system. In January 2011, the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan was released—a ten year Vermont food system plan to increase economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improve access to healthy local food for all Vermonters.
In order to implement the Farm to Plate food system plan, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund convened food system stakeholders in October 2011 to launch the Vermont Farm to Plate Network to collectively implement the plan’s 25 Vermont food system goals. The Farm to Plate Network is comprised of farms, food production businesses, specialty food producers, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, funders, capital providers, and government. Our network development approach creates the space for strategic conversations across multiple stakeholders and perspectives to make systematic food system change that no one organization can accomplish alone.
Vermont's Food System
Vermont’s food system generates more than $10 billion in economic output and supports more than 64,000 jobs and 12,000 businesses. Dairy and its by-products remains the largest agricultural product with 65% of all farm-gate sales and annual sales of more than $1.3 billion. Food and beverage manufacturing employment increased 47% (2,182 jobs) from 2009 to 2015, while also becoming the second largest manufacturing sub-sector in the state with over $982 million in annual sales (2013).
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund serves as the administrator and backbone organization to the Farm to Plate Network and executes the analysis and goal tracking of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan implementation. As a backbone organization, we guide vision and strategy; support aligned activities and facilitate dialogue across the network; establish shared measurement practices; mobilize funding; manage communication; provide professional development and leadership training opportunities; build public will; and coordinate community outreach.
More than 350 members of the Farm to Plate Network are working together to create a viable, sustainable, and resilient food system which produces and distributes our food and generates positive economic, environmental, and social impact in Vermont’s economy.