The foundation for VFN membership is based on partnerships between farmers, food producers and chefs. Partnerships symbolize a willingness to work together, to forge individual relationships that benefit farms and restaurants. The agreement substantiates the commitment between a farmer, food producer and a chef to buy and sell fresh Vermont products with each other.
Qualifications for Membership
(Partnerships must be logged with the Vermont Fresh Network office annually.)
Farmers: One (1) VFN Restaurant that you agree to sell to on a regular basis.
Food Producers, Agricultural Co-ops, Food Distributors:
- Four (4) VFN Farmers that you purchase from on a regular basis
- Four (4) VFN Chef Partners who you sell to on a regular basis.
Health Care Institution and K-12 schools:
- Four (4) Partnerships with VFN Farmers or Producers that you purchase from regularly.
- Health Care Institutions must participate in Health Care Without Harm Initiative in Vermont.
Restaurants/Chefs, Food Markets w/cafes, B & B/Inn, :
- Four (4) Vermont Farmers or Producers from whom you frequently purchase local products
- A minimum of 15% of annual food purchases must be Vermont grown or produced food
- Your menu must contain Vermont products that represent (3) of the (6) USDA Food Groups year-round
- You must attend one networking event. (VFN Annual Meeting, VFN Annual Forum, VT Local Food Matchmaker, Host a Farmers Dinner, Hold a face to face meeting with a farm partner either on their farm or in your kitchen.)
- Listing in our Dining Guide
- Web listing on DigInVT.com
- Web listing on VermontFresh.net
- Marketing opportunities
- Vermont Fresh Network’s newsletter
- VFN tin sign and window decals
- Invitations to the annual forum and other special events
- Invitations to special programs
- Pass code to members only section on website, a private page on the website
- Unlimited VFN logo use
- Voting rights in the organization.
A love and appreciation of Vermont produced food and the desire to espouse the importance of supporting local agriculture.
Justification for the New Restaurant Membership Requirements:
Over the past sixteen years, the increase in availability and diversity of foods, across food groups, from Vermont producers and distributors, has been dramatic and wonderful. We risk having the value of the VFN brand erode if we don’t encourage our members to continue to lead our food communities in the quantity and breadth of purchases from local farmers.
The adjustments to the qualifications were drafted with the following goals in mind:
- Maintaining strong farmer-chef relationships
- Supporting, encouraging and celebrating the quality and diversity of VT grown foods
- Recognizing today’s reality that an increasing percentage of VT farmers choose to sell through distributors
Although the new restaurant/institution standard will set a higher bar, it remains a relatively moderate standard to achieve for a chef engaged with partner farmers. This higher standard would uphold and strengthen the value of the VFN brand to restaurant customers and so restaurants themselves. This change to the bylaws will increase the social and economic impact of a Vermont Fresh Network membership and the strength and prosperity of all Vermont Fresh Network members.
Click this link to the Chef online membership form
Click this link to the Farm/Food Producer/Distributor online membership form
Please complete the forms and push submit. We will contact you with in two weeks about the status of your application and payment of membership dues.
Or Download Partner Member Forms and Mail them to:Vermont Fresh Network, PO Box 895, Richmond, VT 05477
Click to Download
Chef/Bakery/Restaurant/Institution/Food Market or Co-op/Inn or B&B