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We're a network of Vermont Chefs, Farmers, Food Artisans, and Diners.

Annual Meeting 2023

2023 Vermont Fresh Network Annual Meeting

Monday, January 30th, 2023, 11:00 - 4:00, 

ECHO: Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington


Networking - Panels - Discussions

It has been 2 years since we've met in person.The VFN Annual Meeting is a chance to connect with farmers, food producers, distributors, chefs and other culinary professionals. It combines panel discussions and plenty of informal networking opportunities, plus a chance to shape VFN's work for the upcoming year. 

Our Annual Meeting on January 30th, was quite a day. Our host Echo, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain was lovely and attendees enjoyed networking with old friends and new acquaintances.  

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2023 Vermont Fresh Network Annual Meeting! We especially want to thank the Echo, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain for hosting us and 14th Star Brewing Co.August FirstBlake Hill PreservesBlack Flannel Brewing & Distilling CompanyBurlington Beer Co. Cabot Creamery Co-operativeFour Town LowlinesGrateful GreensHoney RoadJericho Settlers FarmJules on the GreenKestrel Coffee RoastersMisty Knoll Farms • Prohibition PigSugarsnap CateringShelburne Farms for providing lunch and sweet treats for the day. 

We also want to thank our Affiliate Partners, Farrell Distributing, Foley Services, and Vermont First, and our Annual Meeting business sponsors, Flavor Plate and Gravel & Shea.

Here's the Meeting Agenda

Organizational Business

Opening Remarks - Board President Doug Paine

Treasurer’s Report - Treasurer Jake Claro

2023 Overview

  • After being away since 2019, our 2022 Annual Forum Dinner came back strong. This dinner is a major fundraiser for our organization and it certainly has been missed  - Between the number of VFN Partner Members showcasing their food, and by the number of attendees from the public, we had a solid crowd of like minded people devoted to VFN’s mission. Our silent auction continues to be  popular and with a ticket price increase, the funds we raised go straight to programs and work that benefits our members. We are looking forward to our 25th Forum Dinner at Shelburne Farms coming up this year on August 6th.
  • Events like today are directly connected to our mission of strengthening partnerships. This year we hosted two networking events bringing together over 100 farmers, chefs and producers, in St. Albans and Middlebury. There will be more networking events in 2023 around the state.  
  • In 2022 we continued to focus on partnerships to amplify our outreach efforts and promote VFN members as well as our projects. This includes working with the Vermont Department of Tourism. In your packets, you’ll see a DigInVT booklet that we designed and is distributed by VDTM to people out of state who request information about Vermont Local Food and Drink.  
  • Building a strong network: In Jan.2020 we had over 280 Partner Members. Because of pandemic-related depression of the market, paid membership dues dropped substantially in 2020 and 2021. However, this year membership renewals have continued to increase. New membership and recruitment continues to grow with 39 new members joining us in 2022. As of today, we’re at just over 207 Partner Members and look forward to building on the successful membership efforts going forward.
  • Strengthening our Foundation: In 2022, We received two grants, a Working Lands Enterprise Fund and a Specialty Crop Producer Association Grant. Both grants came in at the right time as we continue to transition out of the pandemic. They work together to strengthen the foundation of our organization so that we may better serve members and our mission. The grants include funding for staff professional development, staff capacity building in 2023, and a VFN strategic planning project this coming year. The grant projects also include new ways for VFN members and the public to engage through chef/farmers market tours and a 6 episode podcast series.

In 2023, we will be looking to the future with major strategic planning. Tackling questions like, How will VFN/Dig-In co-operate and continue to be financially viable in the future? How can VFN best assist members in a continually challenging environment?

 Executive Director's Report - Tara Pereira

Heading into 2023, we will focus on: 

  • Transparency, Increasing Network Partnerships 

  • Agritourism & Culinary Tourism 

  • Strategic Planning




Thank you to our Annual Meeting Sponsors!



Thank you to Flavor Plate for donating their time and effort to the design and co-development of our website.