Southwest Virginia Fresh (SO Fresh) is an all volunteer, regional community service organization, comprised of local foods consumers and producers, committed to OUR MISSION: To promote a local foods economy throughout Southwest Virginia by enhancing the knowledge of, availability of, and demand for locally produced, locally sold foods throughout the region.
OUR SERVICES AND BENEFITS
* NETWORKING - we envision 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. Our website, hosted regional meetings, one-by-one connections, as well as collaborations with 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, customer service, marketing, financing, tourism, legal requirements, preserving and cooking with local foods, and learning activities for children.
* PROMOTION - 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. Our website offers opportunities to promote local foods events on our Regional Calendar and to post producers or agribusniesses on the Southwest Virginia Local Foods Guide, an interactive, GIS mapping program that highlights the region's local foods offerings.
* COLLABORATIONS - 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.
OUR DREAM is that 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,
* our youth to be engaged and knowledgable about food and agriculture, and
* localities to focus on local agriculture as a means of economic development.
Your donation can help make it happen......thank you.