OLYMPIA – With assist from the Washington State Division of Agriculture (WSDA), the Eat Native First Collaborative has expanded the Washington Meals & Farm Finder, an internet software to attach shoppers to meals grown, caught, raised and produced by Washington producers and producer, and now features a wholesale grocery finder.
The software first went reside in November 2020 and affords a searchable statewide map that helps farmers, meals corporations, and meals assets of all sizes – together with producers of agricultural merchandise like wool and flowers, farmers markets, meals facilities, and others – join with Washington shoppers. In flip, shoppers, together with faculty districts and different establishments, can use the software to search out regionally grown and produced merchandise in 37 counties throughout Washington state.
In late October, the Washington Meals & Farm Finder added the Discover a Wholesale Vendor tab to higher serve faculty districts and different establishments attempting to supply regionally grown produce.
Washington is certainly one of solely 5 states and not using a state-sponsored model program to advertise native meals. The WSDA and the Eat Native First Collaborative are working to fill this hole by making it simpler for farmers and meals corporations to market their merchandise to public establishments and shoppers by means of the creation of a listing.
Use of the software is free for farms, meals corporations and others to record on the easy-to-use platform. Already now, greater than 1,700 farms, meals corporations, and different listings are displayed and the quantity is rising quickly.
The launch of the online software accomplished a 10-year journey to facilitate entry to native groceries for Washington shoppers. Sustainable Connections, a non-profit group headquartered in Bellingham, launched the Eat Native First marketing campaign in 2011 and the primary model of the web software in 2017.
Final yr, a number of organizations shaped the Eat Native First Collaborative to attach patrons and native producers by combining particular person maps, guidebooks and different assets into one complete, single software. The collaboration consists of Sustainable Connections, Tilth Alliance, Pierce County Recent, The Native Meals Belief, Washington State College Meals Programs Program, Washington State College Extension Regional Small Farms Program for Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties, in addition to a rising variety of different companions throughout the nation Nation.