The first workshop of the Connect2Direct initiative will be held at the High Country at the Ashe County Public Library in West Jefferson on November 20, 2014, 9 am to 2:30 pm. The workshop will cover strategies, efforts, and best practices to enhance at-market & CSA sales (with special attention given to SNAP initiatives) by increasing sales to existing customers, improving customer retention, and expanding the customer base.
ASAP and RAFI-USA (Rural Advancement Foundation International) have partnered on the project, Connect2Direct, a major new initiative to increase farmer direct sales and expand local food access. The goal for the collaboration is to support and build equitable community-based local food economies through the development of direct markets for farmers in North Carolina.
Connect2Direct aims to dramatically increase farm to consumer direct sales and the usage of EBT/SNAP at farmers markets in NC – by over 100% within two years – by providing training and technical assistance to markets and market vendors, creating effective marketing and outreach campaigns, facilitating the transactional process for EBT/SNAP, and building statewide capacity and efficiency to sustainably ensure that all North Carolinians have access to fresh foods grown by local farmers.
Click here for the full press release and more information about the project.
Don’t want your Farm Tour weekend to end? It doesn’t have to! Stay connected with ASAP and local food in the region by:
- Did you taste something unforgettable this weekend? You can find many of your favorite Farm Tour farms at Appalachian Grown partner restaurants, tailgate markets, grocery stores, and retailers. Click here to find where you can purchase products from farms on the tour, including whether they have a farm store or operate a CSA program.
- Want to volunteer with ASAP again? Or join us as an intern? Click here for more details.
Farmers and participants alike agree that the Farm Tour is one of their favorite weekends of the year. Want to ensure that we can continue offering the Farm Tour? Donate to ASAP today to support local food, strong farms, and healthy communities!
Share your tour experiences with us and complete our Farm Tour survey. Your feedback helps us improve future tours!
ASHEVILLE, NC (May 2, 2014) – Local food sales in Western North Carolina have grown significantly in the last five years. The 2012 Census of Agriculture, released on May 2, shows that direct sales alone have increased by nearly 70% in the region according to analysis by ASAP’s Local Food Research Center, from under $5 million in 2007 to over $8 million in 2012. The 2012 Census of Agriculture also shows that the region has reversed a disturbing trend in loss of farm acres, actually adding over 10,000 acres between 2007 and 2012 while the rest of North Carolina and the country lost farmland.
By Charlie Jackson and Allison Perrett
March 26, 2014
It is generally recognized that we have big problems with our food system. Industry and government policies and practices are concealed in an anonymous and largely unsustainable global economic system that degrades individual and community health, harms the environment, and is failing to sustain our farms and communities. In this pervasive global system, the effects of our food choices are hidden, and we are unable to see our impacts as consumers and citizens.