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5 Resources to Grow Your Food & Farm Business Network and Knowledge

The Cornerstone of Washington’s Economy

Washington’s agricultural landscape is highly diverse and one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. The Pacific Northwest is blessed with the four key ingredients that make it an agricultural production powerhouse—a diverse climate, rich soil, abundant water, and hard-working people. In fact, with more than 300 different crops grown across the state of Washington, agriculture adds 164,000 jobs and represents a significant segment of the state's economy. At Business Impact NW, we’re celebrating Earth Day by honoring the cornerstone of Washington’s economy: food and farm businesses.

That’s why the Food Business Resource Center at Business Impact NW has compiled a list of resources for small farm and food production businesses looking to expand their knowledge and networks. Whether you’re a beginning farmer or have worked within the Puget Sound food system for decades, it is important to know the variety of resources available throughout Washington State. 

For questions or support, connect with the Food Business Resource Center at Business Impact NW here: fbrc@businessimpactnw.org

 

Interested in partnering with local food growers and producers in Washington State? Explore the wholesale product finder in the WA Food & Farm Finder

Eat Local First is a trusted source for finding local farms and identifying the restaurants, markets, and food businesses that purchase from local food producers. Partners from around the state are working together to merge different online farm finder tools into one comprehensive, easy-to-use, online portal.

From the site: The Washington Food & Farm Finder is an online portal to connect with local farms and food in Washington State – find wholesale vendors, CSAs, local food, and more in this directory. 

For more information, visit:https://eatlocalfirst.org/wholesale/

 

Want to connect with other producers, food businesses, and resource providers serving Puget Sound? Join the Good Food Forum online community

Good Food Forum is an online community connecting stakeholders across the Puget Sound regional food system. It facilitates new market opportunities, match resources, and share events, knowledge, recommendations, and best practices.

From the site: This is a free resource to facilitate new market opportunities, match resources, and share events, knowledge, and best practices between farmers, fishers, food manufacturers, restaurants, food service institutions, retailers, farmers markets, processors, distributors, food hubs, and food access, food recovery, and business support organizations who serve people and businesses across Puget Sound

For more information, visit: https://seattlegood.org/good-food-economy/good-food-forum

 

Looking to collaborate and connect with food business founders and leaders in the PNW? Join Pacific Northwest Packaged Food and Beverage Group to explore networking and business-to-business opportunities.

Pacific Northwest Packaged Food and Beverage Group or PNW F&B Google group is a central communication point for regional food businesses. Hosting over 700 members, the Google group has compiled over 3 years of rich data to provide a range of resources and recommendations. Topics range from if a trade show is worth investing into ERP system to recommendations for box suppliers. The group holds monthly Community Conversations and Office Hours to deepen the support and community connections.

Connect with a Food Business Resource Center coach or email fbrc@businessimpactnw.org for the membership promo code.

From the site: A resource-sharing network for food business founders & leaders in the NW. We come to the group to learn from each other, share resources & collaborate. Together we are building vibrant businesses and a resilient, regenerative, regional food system. Farm businesses can join this member network for FREE.

For more information, email: pnw-packaged-food-bev@googlegroups.com

 

Interested in learning the ins and outs of farmers market vending? Check out the Vendor Resources at WSFMA

The Washington State Farmers Market Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It works with over 110 member farmers markets to bring local, healthy food to communities and direct sales to farmers, artisans and other small businesses throughout Washington.

From the site: WSFMA’s mission is to support and promote vibrant and sustainable farmers markets in Washington State through member services, education, and advocacy. These resources guide experienced and new vendors alike as to the rules, expectations, and how to succeed at farmers markets.

For more information, visit: https://wafarmersmarkets.org/

 

Ready to launch or expand your food or farm business? Connect with the Food Business Resource Center at Business Impact NW for one-on-one coaching, business planning, access to capital, resource navigation, and more.

Food business resource center icon

The Food Business Resource Center (FBRC) is a one-stop shop for Washington and Oregon State food entrepreneurs. It provides access to skills, resources, networks, and marketplace opportunities entrepreneurs need to start, run and grow a successful food-related business. This includes farmer groups, kitchen incubators, regional food system initiatives, public agencies, eateries, and other businesses.

Do you have a resource to share with other food and farm businesses? Join the Food Business Resource Center Food & Farm Business Directory

The Food & Farm Business Directory is a collaborative regional food system directory from Business Impact NW and its regional partners. Find support and services ranging from workshops and webinar trainings to licensing and legal resources, and beyond.

 

Sign up for one of our classes or trainings to get started:

Farmer Finance On-Demand Series >

A 3-part series aimed at providing the beginning farmer the knowledge and resources to approach their farm with a business mentality.

Packaged Foods On-Demand Course >

For entrepreneurs moving into the packaged food space or farms looking to develop value-added product(s). This on-demand, self-paced online course will provide a basic overview of the process from concept to market

Square One – Get Started with Free Business Services >

Square One is your gateway to access capital and business coaching through Business Impact NW.

Other Business Impact NW Classes >

Find more free and low-cost classes and trainings offered by Business Impact NW. Launch, grow, and thrive in your business journey.

About the author

Janelle is a storyteller through and through. She was raised in a family of entrepreneurs who owned and managed a series of small businesses, including a Hawaiian restaurant, a video store, and several real estate properties. Growing up in a low-income community but attending schools as a minority in affluent areas, she struggled with the inequities she faced each day.

Janelle graduated with a degree in Creative Writing, specializing in screenwriting and playwriting. She has worked for a number of nonprofits and has remained steadfast in her commitment to using her craft to support the missions of each organization, and uplift underserved communities throughout the Bay Area.

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