Become an Upper Minnesota River Valley BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL Chapter PARTNER! The goals of the Upper BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL campaign are:
- To expand local markets for sustainable grown local foods
- To increase the consumption of local, health food.
- To diversify the economic base and agriculture landscape
- To protect the natural resource of the Upper MN River Valley
Take a look at the helpful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below, or jump to:
LEARN ALL ABOUT US WITH THESE HELPFUL FAQs
What counts as the Upper Minnesota River Valley?
The chapter includes partners in or near the land that drains to the Upper Minnesota River basin. The region includes several counties in Minnesota including: Ottertail, Traverse, Stevens, Douglas, Pope, Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Swift, Kandiyohi, Renville, and Yellow Medicine. Organizations, farmers and individuals, physically outside the region, but with food system interest in the Upper MN River Valley are welcome to become partners.
Who Can Join?
Any producer, grower, small processor, farmer, farmers market, grocery store, food coop, restaurant, caterer, individual, organization, agency, local government, etc. with food system interest in the Upper MN River Valley are welcome.
I’m an organization or retailer and have no product of my own. How can I qualify to join?
Retailers, associations or other entities are encouraged to join the program as sponsors and promote Upper Minnesota River Valley agricultural products through the use of the logo and labels in their communications materials and by buying products form local growers or suppliers.
How Do I Join?
Complete a brief application form and send the completed form along with any applicable fee to the U of M West Central Partnership, 46352 State Hwy 329, Morris, MN 56267 Application forms are available from the Swift County Rural Development Authority by calling 320-842-4769. Or click here to download an application.
What Does it Cost?
- $10 for food producing farmers, food service, retailers, farmer markets, caterers serving local foods, and individuals or “Vocal Locals”
- $25 sponsorship representing organizations including: non-profit organization, churches, agencies, public institutions, chamber of commerce, and government.
Local Partners submit a program registration fee annually with their application. Local Partners’ fees are used to help cover the costs of program promotional materials and advertising. Make checks payable to: University of Minnesota
Who can use the BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL logo?
Only Upper Minnesota River Valley BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL Program Partners and Sponsors are allowed to use the logo and labels in support of the campaign.
Why should members use the logo?
Using the logo shows consumers that the product was locally grown or processed in the Upper Minnesota River Valley, adding a perceived concept of freshness and quality to the product. It affords consumers and other members of the agricultural community the opportunity to support local agriculture.
Partner criteria are used to assure that foods promoted with BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL (BFBL) marketing materials are locally grown or produced. Partner criteria are outlined below based on business category.
- Farmers that grow or raise foods or other agricultural products (ornamental plants, bedding plans, or Christmas trees) in the Upper MN River Valley region primarily for consumption in that same region. Farmers with a similar local focus that reside outside the Upper MN River Valley region may be approved as a Partner based on one of the following:
- A pre-existing market in the Upper MN River Valley region.
- A product that is not readily available in the Upper MN River Valley region.
- Their ability to significantly/uniquely stimulate the local foods economy.
- Please note:
- The primary market for products promoted with BFBL materials must be in the Upper MN River Valley region.
- BFBL products must be traceable to a specific farm.
- BFBL materials should be used only for locally grown products.
- BFBL Partners that also retail non-locally grown produced items are expected to take care that such products are properly labeled to distinguish them from local foods. Example: Fair Trade Coffee.
Institutions, Restaurants, Caterers and Stores
- Eligible Partners are businesses that use or sell locally produced foods from the Upper MN River Valley Region.
- Please note:
- A commitment to purchasing and promoting foods should be a state marketing strategy/message or value/principle of the business.
- BFBL materials should be used only for foods that feature BFBL farm—produced ingredients. It is expected that BFBL materials note be used in a misleading manner.
- Farmers markets can use BFBL materials only to promote their markets. Vendors must join individually t use signage and point of purchase materials.
- Eligible Partners are processing facilities, meat lockers, bakeries and commercial kitchens that buy locally projected foods from the Upper MN River Valley region.
- Please note:
- A commitment to purchasing and promoting local foods should be a state marketing strategy/message or valued principle of the business.
- Food promoted with BFBL materials must contain at least one featured or primary ingredient that is grown or raised on a BFBL member farm. Example: local apples in an apple pie.
Vocal Locals & Sponsors
- Vocal Locals (any individual) and Sponsors including organizations, agencies, and government in or near the region that supports the campaign can use BFBL logos and labels in their communications materials.
- Download the Vocal Local brochure.
Partner Benefits Include:
- Use of the market-tested label that conveys fresh and delicious foods to consumer.
- Access to a toolkit of designs for promotional materials.
- Access to promotional materials for resale such as sturdy cotton grocery bags printed with the Buy Fresh Buy Local label.
- Partner decal to post on building or vehicle windows.
- Listed in the annual Local Foods Guide.
- Listed on the Pride of the Prairie website Partners listing www.prideoftheparirie.org.
- Opportunities to develop marketing collaborations through connection with other partners in the Upper Minnesota River Valley BFBL Chapter.
- Opportunities to promote appreciation and stewardship of the Upper Minnesota River Valley’s natural resources and recreational experiences.
- Identification with a popular progressive movement to increase consumption of healthy foods, keep family farms financially viable, and improve local economies.
- Access to Pride of the Prairie “Foodies listerserv” UMMFOODIES@LISTS.UMN.EDU communication among members, sharing of articles, meeting notices, etc.
- Support local food efforts in the Upper MN River Valley region to achieve the chapter goals.
- Use sustainable practices that conserve soil, protect water quality and wildlife habitat, are humane to animals and fair to employees, business associates and consumers.
- Support publicity efforts of the Upper MN River Valley Chapter, using the styles, fonts, colors and designs as trademarked by Food Routes.
- Display the BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL Upper MN River Valley Partner Circle.
- Collaborate with partners to develop local foods initiatives in the Upper MN River Valley.
- Post any events related to BFBL to the Pride of the Prairie “Foodies” listserv.
- Follow membership criteria when labeling products.