Press Release: Innovative Program Expands to Help Grow Local Economy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 18, 2017

Media Contact:

Amy Kirschner

VBSR Marketplace Program

(802) 399-4210

amy@vbsrmarket.com

Russ Elek

Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

Communication and Membership Manager

(802) 862-8347

russe@vbsr.org

VBSR Partners with Vermont Resilience Lab and Vermont Fresh Network to Promote Farm to Plate Businesses

-Innovative Program Expands to Help Grow Local Economy-

Burlington, VT – Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) is pleased to announce that the VBSR Marketplace, is expanding to include members of the Vermont Fresh Network (VFN). The partnership, facilitated by Vermont Resilience Lab, will allow VFN partner members to access the VBSR Marketplace, a popular, online trade network that helps Vermont businesses improve cash flow through trading excess products and services.

“From helping to establish the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, to leading the way on Farm to Plate legislation, VBSR has a long history of supporting sustainable agriculture,” said VBSR Executive Director Jane Campbell. “This partnership is a way for us to continue that commitment, and is an exciting opportunity for VBSR members to connect with more Vermont farms and restaurants in a way that is complementary to our mission of helping to build diverse and sustainable economy.”

The goal of the VBSR Marketplace is to help businesses receive compensation for excess good and services, which often go underutilized. Currently, all 750+ VBSR members have access to the Marketplace program as one of their standard member benefits. Through this partnership, the program’s expansion will give the same access to approximately 300 Vermont Fresh Network members. Benefits to the local business members of each organization will include the ability to access new customers from their statewide networks, assistance with finding new local vendors, access to limited edition goods and services from members, marketing assistance and outreach, and pre-purchasing agreements.

“The Vermont Fresh Network has always been focused on building relationships between local businesses that have a shared goal to strengthen Vermont’s communities and working lands – VBSR and the VBSR Marketplace also facilitate those sorts of connections,” said Helen Labun, Executive Director of VFN, “In addition to having a similar business spirit, the Marketplace is also an elegant option for farmers, chefs, and food producers to make the most out of their resources as they increase their commitment to buying local.”

“VBSR is an association of businesses dedicated to ‘multiple bottom lines.’ Our members recognize that profitability is essential to business, but they are equally concerned about their contribution to the quality of workplace, environment, and community, “ said Campbell. “The Vermont Fresh Network is a community of agricultural and culinary professionals who use Vermont grown and raised foods to create economic, environmental and social gain. This partnership is not only good for the program and our members, but it is one that aligns with our multiple-bottom-line philosophy.”

The VBSR Marketplace is administered by Vermont Resilience Lab, a VBSR member devoted to assisting local economies through the development and implementation of custom resource management strategies. For more information or to join the Marketplace, visit www.vbsrmarket.com

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VBSR is a statewide, non-profit business association with a mission to advance a business ethic that values people and planet as much as profit. Through economic development, education, public influence, and networking, VBSR strives to help 750+ members set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of the state’s residents, while remaining profitable. Learn more or join the cause at www.vbsr.org.

Vermont Resilience Lab is a Burlington, Vermont based consultancy and project management company that develops and implements custom resource management strategies to businesses, communities, and associations who are looking for innovative and proven ways to navigate the new economy. Since 2008, Vermont Resilience Lab has consistently helped local businesses turn their extra capacity into purchasing power through an online, open-source platform developed in-house and run as the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Marketplace. Vermont Resilience Lab was founded by award-winning social entrepreneur Amy Kirschner. For more information or to join the Marketplace, visit www.vbsrmarket.com.

Vermont Fresh Network builds relationships between Vermont farmers and chefs to support a flourishing local food economy. Since 1996, the Vermont Fresh Network has worked with a diverse group of culinary professionals, as well as specialty food and beverage makers, to leverage their purchasing power and food system influence to build markets for Vermont farmers. Last year VFN members purchased over $45 million in Vermont grown and raised foods. For more information, and to find our membership criteria, visit http://www.vermontfresh.net.