Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting

Northwest Washington’s premier

food & farming biz conference

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
8:30AM – 5PM
Bellingham Technical College, Settlemyer Hall
3208 Lindbergh Avenue
Bellingham, Washington 98225

Find local products. Connect with buyers. Get inspired!

Join 180+ farmers, fishers, chefs, grocery buyers, food artisans, processors, and distributors for one day filled with valuable networking and connection opportunities, cutting-edge educational workshops, a vibrant expo, one-on-one producer-buyer consultations, and the ever-delicious seven-course locally sourced lunch prepared by Bellingham Technical College’s Culinary Arts Program and chefs from the Northwest Washington Chefs Collective.

It’s the best networking event of the year!

El servicio de traducción en Español disponible (Spanish translation services are available).

REGISTER HERE!

AGENDA

9:00-9:15 Welcome & Introductions
Sara Southerland, Food & Farming Director, Sustainable Connections

9:15-10:00 Keynote Address – Main Room
Helping our Customers Choose FoodWISE: Gigi Berardi on Whole, Informed, Sustainable, & Experience-Based Choices 
Gigi Berardi, PhD, Western Washington University, Professor of Environmental Studies and Journalist

10:00-10:45 Speed Networking
Facilitated by Alex Smith, Food & Farming Outreach Coordinator, Sustainable Connections

10:45-11:00 Networking Break

11:00-12:15  Morning Sessions
Click to see full session details below.

A) Accessing Seattle Markets – Main Room
Jay Dressler, PNW Regional Purchasing Manager @ Facebook; Anthony Clark, Charter Hotel; Scott Owen, Senior Grocery Merchandiser @ PCC Natural Markets (been there 18 years); Edward Morris, Google.

B) The Buyer’s Toolkit – Land Room
Justin Daniels, Head Chef, North Cascades Institute; Christy Fox, Co-Owner & Chef, Evolve Chocolate + Café. Facilitated by Kether Scharff-Gray, Ag & Procurement Specialist, Mainstem Malt.

C) Closing the Food System Loop – Sea Room
Mark Peterson, Sustainable Business Development Manager, Sustainable Connections

12:15-1:15 7-Course Lunch! – Main Room
The popular 7 course buffet-style lunch created by the skilled hands of Chefs Collective and BTC Culinary Arts students, all using the freshest local ingredients from our talented farmers, fishers and food artisans.

Lunch Program:
12:40: Business Spotlight – Tortillas Con Madre: a tradition reinvented
Lupita Nava & Gerardo Quiroz, Owners, Tortillas Con Madre

12:50 Chef & Culinary Student Curtain Call
Maressa Valliant, Food & Farming Marketing Coordinator, Sustainable Connections

1:15-2:30 Afternoon Session – Main Room
Food Culture Trends: Who Cares, What’s New, and How to Connect
Shelley Balanko, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, The Hartman Group

2:30-2:45 Networking Break

2:45-4:00 One-on-One Buyer/Producer consultations – Main Room

Non-Profit Roundtable Session (happening simultaneously) – Land Room
Facilitated by Maressa Valliant, Food & Farming Marketing Coordinator, Sustainable Connections

4:00-5:00  Networking & Tasting Reception  – Café Culinaire
Join us for this networking hour happy hour featuring sips and bites from local breweries, cideries, distilleries and food artisans.

FULL AGENDA DETAILS

FULL AGENDA DETAILS

9:00-9:15 Welcome & Introductions
Sara Southerland, Food & Farming Director, Sustainable Connections

9:15-10:00 Keynote Address – Main Room
Helping our Customers Choose FoodWISE: Gigi Berardi on Whole, Informed, Sustainable, & Experience-Based Choices 
Gigi Berardi, PhD, Western Washington University, Professor of Environmental Studies and Journalist

In a culture awash with advice on nutrition and eating, and amidst a sea of ever-changing food information, today’s consumers are confused about what to eat! How can we help make the choices easier, to help our customers be more connected to their food and create more meaningful experiences around the table?

Gigi Berardi, PhD, will share insightful ideas, research and food psychology from her new book FoodWISE, where she shows readers how to make food choices and prepare meals that are WISE – Whole, Informed, Sustainable, and Experienced-based. She offers practical guidance for consumers on how to shop and cook with confidence and renewed excitement to revolutionize how they think about healthy, enjoyable, and socially conscious cuisine. For sellers, quality counts! Perhaps even more important than the story we are telling and selling to our customers! For Forbes, in 2020, it’s one of “19 reads that inspire us and challenge us to be better activists, environmentalists, cooks, policymakers, protectors of the planet, farmers, supporters of pollinators, and advocates for a better food system.”

Get inspired about your own food choices, while gaining insights that you can use through your own marketing, storytelling, and interactions with your customers.

10:00-10:45 Speed Networking
Facilitated by Alex Smith, Food & Farming Outreach Coordinator, Sustainable Connections

10:45-11:00 Networking Break

11:00-12:15  Morning Sessions

A) Accessing Seattle Markets – Main Room
For many farmers and food artisans, Seattle markets are a great opportunity to expand your business reach. But what does the Seattle market want? What’s working and what’s challenging for these buyers? Learn what Seattle buyers of a few different sizes are looking for, best practices for partnering, and how they are seeing the market shift and evolve for local products.

Jay Dressler, PNW Regional Purchasing Manager @ Facebook; Anthony Clark, Charter Hotel; Scott Owen, Senior Grocery Merchandiser @ PCC Natural Markets (been there 18 years); Edward Morris, Google.  

B) The Buyer’s Toolkit – Land Room
In a market that can be challenging to keep competitive, learn from this expert panel of buyers who are excited to share valuable tools and information on making it easy to purchase local products and ingredients for your restaurants, stores and businesses. From incorporating equitable purchasing programs, and valuable resources for plate pricing, to telling the story of the local producers you support – join us for this lively and interactive session.

Justin Daniels, Head Chef, North Cascades Institute; Christy Fox, Co-Owner & Chef, Evolve Chocolate + Café. Facilitated by Kether Scharff-Gray, Ag & Procurement Specialist, Mainstem Malt.

C) Closing the Food System Loop – Sea Room
In Whatcom County 1 in 5 community members are experiencing hunger insecurity with 1 in 7 of those community members being children and yet the largest percentage of what is sent to landfills is food.  In the United States nearly 40% of food produced goes to waste and studies show recovering just one-third of food waste in the U.S. could end food insecurity if it could be successfully distributed to those in need. In this session we will explore the big picture of food waste then zoom in to learn how Sustainable Connections’ Food Recovery Initiative is successfully redistributing surplus food and how your business can join the local and worldwide movement to feed people not landfills.
Mark Peterson, Sustainable Business Development Manager, Sustainable Connections

12:15-1:15 7-Course Lunch! – Main Room
The popular 7 course buffet-style lunch created by the skilled hands of Chefs Collective and BTC Culinary Arts students, all using the freshest local ingredients from our talented farmers, fishers and food artisans.

Lunch Program:
12:40: Business Spotlight – Tortillas Con Madre: a tradition reinvented
Lupita Nava & Gerardo Quiroz, Owners, Tortillas Con Madre

12:50 Chef & Culinary Student Curtain Call
Maressa Valliant, Food & Farming Marketing Coordinator, Sustainable Connections

1:15-2:30 Afternoon Session – Main Room
Food Culture Trends: Who Cares, What’s New, and How to Connect
Shelley Balanko, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, The Hartman Group

Join The Hartman Group’s Shelley Balanko in this informative session exploring key trends in food culture that can help grow your business. Contemporary consumers have redefined food quality, and sustainability, health, and wellness attributes are at the core.  Tap into consumer insights to ensure you’re speaking to the right target market about the things they care about. Learn about the products that are helping to shape the future of the food and beverage industry, and the importance of transparent narratives and effective storytelling regarding ingredient sourcing and food production practices.

2:30-2:45 Networking Break

2:45-4:00 One-on-One Buyer/Producer consultations – Main Room
Get out your products, pull out your business cards – this is the highlight of the Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting each year. We’ll set up a long table with buyers on one side and producers on the other. We will have 10, 5-minute sessions – a great opportunity for producers and buyers to grow new connections.

Non-Profit Roundtable Session (happening simultaneously) – Land Room
Share updates, successes and collaboration opportunities with fellow food-systems non-profit organizations.
Facilitated by Maressa Valliant, Food & Farming Marketing Coordinator, Sustainable Connections

4:00-5:00  Networking & Tasting Reception  – Café Culinaire
Join us for this networking hour happy hour featuring sips and bites from local breweries, cideries, distilleries and food artisans.

TICKETS

 

$45 Early Bird members | $55 Early Bird non-members – Ends January 17

$60 Member rate | $70 General rate – Ends February 24, 11:59PM

$70 Day-of member rate | $80 Day-of general rate

 

VENDOR TABLES

 

$95 Early Bird members | $105 Early Bird non-members – Ends January 17

$110 Member rate | $120 General rate

REGISTER HERE!

BE A FEATURED BUYER!

 

The popular one-on-one producer-buyer consultations are back, and we’d love to have you as a featured buyer!

For chefs, restaurants, grocery buyers, and distributors who register — we’ll automatically sign you up.

From 2:30–4PM, we host one-on-one consultation rounds, meeting dozens of farmers and food artisans. You’ll be promoted on our website and e-newsletters in advance, and have a chance to do a short introduction on the mic before the session starts.

Contact alex@sustainableconnections.org with any questions!

BE A VENDOR FOR THE DAY!

 

Showcase your business and products with a trade table in the main room of the Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting — limited spots available.

This amazing opportunity has many benefits:

  • Attendees report making an average of 4-6 new, promising business connections.
  • Wholesale and retail sales, value-added products, and food and farming services are all areas of focus.
  • We’ll have buyers, restaurants, grocers, and distributors.
  • Vendors will be available to conference attendees throughout the day and have the additional opportunity to showcase their products through demonstrations, tastings, and displays.
  • You get one full admission as part of your vendor registration if you register by January 19.

Contact abbie@sustainableconnections.org for more details!

REGISTER HERE!

SPONSOR THE FARM-TO-TABLE TRADE MEETING!

 

Align your business with farm-to-table values, and get out in front of the crowd with great exposure, while keeping the event affordable to our community.

Learn more about your Farm-to-Table sponsorship opportunities here.

Contact sara@sustainableconnections.org for more details!

This event takes place at an accessible location. Sign language interpreters, assisted listening devices, and communication in alternative formats and languages are available upon request one week prior to the event; please contact abbie@sustainableconnections.org if you desire these accommodations.

By attending a Sustainable Connections event, you are agreeing to our Events Code of Conduct.

Thank You to Our Farm-to-Table Sponsors

Thank You to Our Eat Local First Sponsors & Partners

PeaceHealth logo

Thank You to Our Food & Farming Sponsors

Community food coop logo

Mt. Baker Care Center logo