JustCut: Farm-to-Institution Supply Chain Facilitation
For the last four years, the CAE has been moving local produce to institutional markets. We aggregate and process root and storage crops to advance farm viability and food accessibility for all.
Our JustCut program thrives post-harvest, as we process root veggies and cabbage to nourish Vermonters and beyond at our regional institutions. As of October, JustCut already passed the processing totals of 2018, weighing in at over 110,000 lbs. of raw produce processed. In 2019, we established a new institutional client; RiverWoods Retirement Community in Exeter, NH, and we have another large Boston institution in the works to commence in 2020. These relationships were identified in large part thanks to our ongoing partnership with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and the New England Food Processors’ Collective, a collaborative project with Commonwealth Kitchen, Western Mass. Food Processing Center and HCWH. Additionally, our core group of institutional accounts have increased their buying of our minimally processed produce in 2019, with opportunities to R&D new products to better serve their dining service needs. It has been a very full year with significant Just Cut growth and we are thrilled to have our new production manager, Thomas Neel, to help us grow even more in 2020.
In partnership with Vermont farms and institutional buyers who are prioritizing fresh and local products, CAE acts as food hub and processor, working with local distribution partners to move our products across New England!
Our goals for this program are twofold:
- We strive to provide a fair price to our farmers, and pay in a timely fashion, with the aim of diversifying their markets into institutional food service settings.
2. We work with values-based institutional buyers, to help leverage their buying power to support our working landscapes, and to reach the constituents and consumers who eat in their cafeterias and dining halls.
FARM PARTNERS: We work with many farms across Vermont, inclusive of Naked Acre Farm, West Farm, Chapelle's Vermont Potatoes, Harlow Farm, Jericho Settlers Farm, Provender Farm, and the Farm at VYCC. In 2019, we have purchased from 15 different farms in Vermont and the region. We are always looking for small and medium-scale farm partners to work with. Please call us to learn more!
BUYERS: Are you looking for cases of locally grown and processed vegetables? Our products are designed for institutional food service settings - from K-12 schools and academies, to hospitals and health care centers, to colleges and large dining services.
From julienne carrots and potato dice, to cabbage shred mix, and diced beets, we may have your answer. Our Product List is available to send to you, and please contact us with questions.
Want to learn more? Check out Farm to Institution New England's short video (below) about local food processing at the Vermont Food Venture Center and throughout our region! Episode 2 of The Local Motive also explores the relationship between the processing of local food and the financial viability of the local food system.