OUR SERVICES AND BENEFITS
The charter members of SO Fresh envisioned a vast and extensive network that helps match potential buyers with grower/producers who sell (or dream of selling) their locally produced vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy, eggs, and baked goods. This website, various gatherings, one-by-one connections, as well as connecting southwestern VA local foods groups are some of the ways we do this.
EDUCATION & RESOURCES
SO Fresh offers seminars, workshops, and resources for producers and consumers to expand their expertise and ability to make informed choices. Topics have included gardening techniques, entrepreneurial business basics and customer service, marketing, financing, tourism and legal requirements, preserving and cooking with local foods, and learning activities for children.
We work to create opportunities for small producer businesses (including those who want to just dabble in sales) as well as farmers markets and restaurants to become known in their communities without the need for a vast marketing budget.
We are working to bring numerous local foods organizations together on a regular basis to learn from each other and explore potential for regional collaborations and cooperation. SO Fresh, as a region-wide organization, is well suited by design to host & lead that effort.
Promoting development of community greenhouses, cannery/certified kitchens and education centers is also possible.
We participate in other groups and their initiatives to help them to be successful.
As this organization grows, SO Fresh will become an initiator and comprehensive “point of contact” for all Southwest Virginia local foods efforts and information, thereby enhancing a region of connected and thriving community-based foods businesses and consumers– where it is commonplace for: local foods groups to have ways to collaborate, consumers to seek local foods first and find them, producers to be financially successful, residents and visitors to know about regional events & activities, and localities to focus on local agriculture as economic development.
- We are a nonprofit community service organization, comprised of local foods consumers, producers, and organizations, that serves the region by educating, networking, marketing, and collaborating.
- We value and assist the novice to experienced producer and the small to large buyer.
- We encourage producers to share how their food is produced and buyers to support what they like.
- We promote the public’s understanding of the health and economic benefits that come from purchasing foods as locally as possible, thereby creating connected and thriving communities.