BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the launch of MassGrown Exchange, an online platform designed to facilitate business-to-business connections within the local food system for products and services. The platform was developed following recommendations from the Administration’s Food Security Task Force, which promotes ongoing efforts to ensure that individuals and families throughout the Commonwealth have access to healthy, local food.
“Our Administration developed MassGrown Exchange to serve as an important tool for the Commonwealth’s agricultural and seafood industries to expand business opportunities and access new markets, and improve food security for the people of Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through this new platform, a variety of businesses, including farmers, fisheries, restaurants and food banks, will be able to source locally caught and produced food more efficiently.”
“Our Food Security Task Force found that there was a critical need to develop a system to connect processing, storage, and distribution resources to ensure ongoing supply of food,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Though the platform was designed to address COVID-19 disruptions to the local food supply, it will continue to benefit the local food system long after the pandemic has passed.”
Developed by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), in collaboration with the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), this platform was originally established to address COVID-19 disruptions to the local food supply in order to assist Massachusetts growers and producers in accessing markets. Given its broad applicability to the food sector in the Commonwealth, this platform will remain in place as a helpful tool and resource beyond the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
“The MassGrown Exchange is designed to be a simple tool for buyers and suppliers with flexibility to meet the needs of the complex food system,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Building on the recommendations of the Food Security Task Force, this platform will offer every region across the Commonwealth an opportunity to develop their local food network.”
The MassGrown Exchange platform will assist Massachusetts food businesses looking to sell and purchase products and services, including:
- Farmers, fishermen, specialty food producers with wholesale products to sell to restaurants, grocery stores, and other outlets, or searching for equipment or services, such as storage, distribution.
- Buyers (including supermarkets, institutions, schools, food banks, restaurants, and retail outlets) looking for local food products.
- Service and equipment providers working with businesses in the food system.
The platform offers a simple registration process for Massachusetts food businesses, which can operate as a buyer or supplier, depending on whether they are looking to acquire products or provide products or services. Potential sellers and buyers are encouraged to register their business and start listing products and services.
“The platform is now live and ready for businesses looking to sell and purchase Massachusetts’ products and services,” said MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux. “It is our hope and intent that this platform will increase business activity and revenue for the agricultural and aquaculture communities.”
“Massachusetts’ historic fishing industry has been working hard to help our state meet the challenges created by the COVID-19 emergency, and this platform provides a new tool that will make it easier for them to sell fresh seafood products,” said Massachusetts Fish and Game Commissioner Ronald Amidon. “Food security is a critical issue, and this platform will help both buyers and sellers, leading to benefits for local food businesses and residents across the Commonwealth.”
Please visit the MassGrown Exchange webpage for details on registering as well as a training video on using the platform.
MDAR also offers the popular Massachusetts Grown and Fresher interactive map, which aims to help the general public find local food and other agricultural products at local farms, farmers markets, fairs, agritourism farms, wineries, breweries, and more.