Monday, August 10, 2020

MassGrown Exchange Food Security

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), in collaboration with the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), has developed the MassGrown Exchange online platform to link food system channels and help facilitate business-to-business connections within the local food system for products and services. 

The platform was designed to address COVID-19 disruptions to the local food supply and to remain a helpful tool long after the pandemic has ended.

Who is the platform for?
The platform is open to businesses looking to sell and purchase Massachusetts products and services, including:
1. Farmers, fishers, specialty food producers with wholesale products to sell to restaurants, grocery stores, and other outlets.
2. Buyers (including supermarkets, institutions, schools, food banks, restaurants, and retail outlets) looking for local food products.
3. Farmers, fishers, specialty food producers searching for equipment or services, such as storage, distribution.
4. Service and equipment providers working with businesses in the food system.

What are the key features?
The MassGrown Exchange assists farmers, fishers, food buyers, and agricultural related businesses to connect, exchange, and find products and services. Key features include:
1. Simple registration process: Buyers and suppliers are only required to register when adding a listing. Registration is not required to browse listings.
2. Businesses can act as buyer and supplier: a business can act as a buyer and a supplier depending on whether they are looking for or looking to provide a product or service.
3. User notifications: This feature eliminates the need for businesses to re-visit the site to check for new listings. If a business creates a listing or alert, the system automatically notifies a business when the product/service becomes available.
4. Automatic listing expiration: Listings expire after an end date specified by the user. A notification is sent with the option to remove or extend the listing.

Is it live now?
We plan to go live this week. We strongly encourage you to explore the MassGrown Exchange and we encourage businesses to register and create listings for products and services.