Greener Fields Together, a sustainability and local produce initiative created by the produce supply chain management company PRO*ACT, has announced Cultivating Change, a grant program for local farms.
Through Cultivating Change, local growers are eligible to apply for grants ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. The grants will be funded annually to qualifying growers through an online voting platform and industry review panel.
Cultivating Change grants are available to support local farmer efforts to improve their businesses in four categories:
•Certifications—Food safety audits, organic, non-GMO project, biodynamic, fair trade
•Infrastructure—Equipment and facility upgrades, logistics, reusable plastic containers (RPCs)
•Capacity building—Food safety/GAP improvements, continuing education
•Marketing/communications—Marketing materials/support, website and social media platform development, label and packaging upgrades
“Greener Fields Together was developed to bring about continuous, measurable sustainability improvements in the fresh produce supply chain and to do so in part by providing strong support for local farms,” said Max Yeater, president of PRO*ACT. “Cultivating Change is a natural extension of that. Everyone wants high-quality, local produce, but for small farms to meet the growing demand requires significant resources and investment. These grants are meant to help.”
Farmers interested in applying for a Cultivating Change grant can do so between September 1 and October 31, 2015, at www.greenerfieldstogether.com/cultivating-change. There, applicants can customize their profile page with photos and stories from their farms for online sharing as part of the online voting and peer review process. For more information and complete rules, go to www.cultivatingchange.org/rules.
Greener Fields Together is a collaboration of environmentally responsible parties—including farmers, distributors, and foodservice operators—who have come together to make steady, measurable improvements in sustainability and food safety practices through all levels of the produce supply chain.
PRO*ACT is a leading distributor of fresh food to the foodservice and retail industries, sourcing from national, regional, and local farmers. It streamlines the produce supply chain, offering cost benefits and a one-call solution to source fresh produce from more than 70 third-party-inspected, independently owned local distribution centers across the United States and Canada.
Go to www.greenerfieldstogether.org for more details.