The Value-Added Food Team provides both research and educational programs for farmers, food entrepreneurs, processors, food hubs and shared use processing facilities, and other food systems stakeholders in Massachusetts and across the country. The Team focuses on the intersection of profitability, food safety, and food quality to support the development of sustainable markets that balance consumer demand for regional attributes and safe, high-quality food products.
There is an opportunity to meet the growing demand for local and regional foods and increase farm sector profitability by supporting and developing new markets for value-added products. In particular, farmers, food entrepreneurs, processors, food hubs and shared used processing facilities can capitalize on opportunities provided by recent investments in regional food processing facilities by processing fresh produce for later sales. The Value-Added Foods team recognizes the challenges and limitations involved in accessing market-research data that helps to determine profitability and the navigating the critical food safety regulations and managing key quality attributes that impact production costs and profitability. Therefore, we aim to address the challenges of value-added food production to help improve the economic development for local food-based businesses.
The UMass Value-Added Food Team is a multi-disciplinary group that includes economists and food scientists. We work with NECAFS and Multi-states, FPC, Commonwealth Kitchen, MDAR, CISA etc.
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